Despite pleading guilty to equity skimming last week, former West New York Commissioner Ruben Vargas will continue his work at the town housing authority since there was no language in the guilty plea requiring him to be fired, according to corporation counsel.
After a brief closed session that only lasted a few minutes, former board of education and commissioner candidate Pat Cullen, who now works at the town library, implored the board to fire Vargas as soon as possible.
Hudson County View then addressed the board, seeking a more thorough answer as to why Vargas was allowed to maintain his employment at the authority.
” … We [myself and labor counsel] both concur that there is nothing in the plea agreement that requires that Mr. Vargas forfeit his office. That was not a lapse by the U.S. Attorney’s Office: they don’t make mistakes,” responded Frank Leanza, WNYHA counsel who is also a municipal judge in Guttenberg.
“Apparently, at this stage, they are not requiring him to give up his office. In the near future, he’s gonna face a judge for sentencing. The judge may address that issue and if he or she does address it, and determines that he has to forfeit his employment, then we will have no choice but to act accordingly.”
Leanza also said that the crime in question occurred well before Vargas was employed at the authority in February 2015, he does not deal with any financial or administrative aspects of the authority and has gone above and beyond the expectations of the job since being hired.
According to the plea agreement, dated March 17th, there is no specific language that says Vargas, who earns about $35,000 annually as the head of security at the housing authority, is banned from holding public employment.
Vargas’ sentencing is scheduled for August 18th at U.S. District Court in Trenton and typically the maximum sentence for equity skimming is a $500,000 fine and five years in prison.
However, his plea agreement states that he cannot be sentenced to more than three years of supervised release or more than two years of imprisonment – if he violates any of the conditions of supervised release.
He will also have to pay back the approximately $149,900 in rent he collected while he defaulted on a $417,000 mortgage loan from the U.S. Department of Housing of Urban Development (HUD) between 2007 and 2013.
Vargas declined to comment immediately following the meeting.
What about his job collecting and counting the Parking Authority Dollars and Coins?
Vargas probably will not do any jail time.
Shame on you West New York Housing Authority for having a Felon run your security. only in corrupt West New York.
What a farce! They must think people are a bunch of idiots. This guy Leanza is a lawyer and a judge, and he makes an idiotic claim like that??
It does not matter that the plea agreement didn’t require him to be fired. The US Attorney’s office does not control the WNY Housing Authority. Who the hell is he trying to kid?
What about having a convicted felon – convicted for fraud, no less – as head of security for the Housing Authority? They have the authority to fire him but as usual, Roque the POS gave the word and all the unethical puppets, including the lawyer, do what he says. That’s Roque’s brilliant sister on the board, isn’t it? Standards in the gutter, the whole lot of them.
This is just another slap in the face to the people of this town. With all the honest, decent people who live here and could use a job, this lowlife Vargas, the good friend of Roque the POS, gets to keep his job and the taxpayers have to pay.
These people are a bunch of pigs, and they are not fooling anyone.
The other day I commented that that guy who was arrested for practicing law without a license is probably as competent as these legal clowns who work in this county. See what I mean?
A very poor excuse for leaving this convicted thief on the public payroll . His character is prove enough he cannot be trusted . I guess the board at the parking authority made the same decision but at the parking authority he is also in charge of security of all the money Collected. It proves the town is the most corrupt in the county run by a bunch of crooks . The same attorney is representing the Mayor who is under indictment and the convicted thief Vargus . I don’t know how these two can come to work everyday and face the taxpayers. The Suprano’s have nothing on these two running a criminal enterprise .
The third board that will have to make a decision on Vargus remaining on the board as a paid commissioner is the North Hudson Sewerage Authority this Thursday night at 6:30pm . If he is permitted to remain on the board the only hope the taxpayers have to get him off the three public payrolls is currently collecting is if he goes to jail on August 18th.
This is actually incorrect, his term expired on the NHSA.
John, I did not know Vargus had been replaced as a commissioner on the North Hudson Sewerage Board of commissioners
Yes, term expired. Replaced by Joe Roque
It’s Hudson County .. West New York to boot so what did you all think was gonna happen. No one follows rules, policies or laws. No one cares. Roque and his gang made WNY exactly what everyone tried to escape from in their own country. But the joke’s on you people for allowing it to happen. I thought when people like Cirillo and collacurcio got in this would change but they conformed and have taken their own path. It’s a shame. A real shame. I get that you’re outnumber but to shrug off wrongdoing not even put up a fight makes you two no better than them.
More corruption tomorrow at the BOE meeting where Parkinson and Johnathan are forcing board members to vote in Morell so they can continue to ROB the children of WNY. A Commissioner falsified its lunch application when there kids went to school and it is being covered up. People in this forum should write to the United States Attroney and ask that Vargas not be allowed to hold public positions. A regular citizen would be going to jail if they committed these crimes but not a public official. WNY deserves what it gets high TAXES and incompetent leadership. Wake up WNY you are totally ASLEEP. Patrick who do you think slashed your tires. Diaz will be at tomorrow’s meeting enforcing Nb agenda. Roque is a PUPPET â˜‘ï¸
This lack of action is a slap in the face to the public.Vargas must be fired from the two jobs he holds , immediately.It is only a matter of time before we see the mayor himself facing charges.Now we should all realize why every single commisioner was replaced.This administration needs to show some independent thought or get ready for the call to retirement.Embarrassment , at the least.
All the commissioners were replaced,but what has changed? Things are as bad as they ever were, maybe worse.
Roque gets more cocky and more corrupt every day. And with the overrated and overpaid Scarinci claiming that the law does not require him to step down even if he is convicted and goes to prison, what hope do we have that things will ever change?
Now a days I miss Sal Vega!