Former West New York Commissioner Ruben Vargas will continue to collect his annual salary of $75,000 after the town’s parking authority opted not to terminate him this morning – even though he pleaded guilty to equity skimming last week.
At the meeting, which included a roughly 45-minute closed session prior to the public comment portion of the meeting, Hudson County View – the only public speaker – asked what Vargasâ€™ employment status is.
â€œThe violation to which he pled guilty to does not touch on his employment here or at the housing authority,
said agency counsel John Azzarello, who was one of Roqueâ€™s criminal defense attorneys when he was acquitted of federal hacking charges in October 2013.
“His conduct, which by the charge, apparently ended in 2013, does not affect his performance or his duties either here or at the housing authority. Notwithstanding those factors, we are looking at whether or not there are any requirements under the law for us to take action – I donâ€™t believe there are at this time – that requires us to take action.”
“So, his employment status is something that is being examined and weâ€™ll continue to examine in the coming months leading up to his sentencing.â€
Azzarello said he wouldnâ€™t speculate what the authority will do after Vargas’ sentencing, given that there are many scenarios that could occur between now and then.
Vargas earns $40,000 as an outside operations manager, as only Hudson County View reported back in July.
He also earns $35,000 as the head of security for the housing authority, who decided to let him stay on the payroll last night, of course totaling for an annual salary of $75,000.
As we reported earlier today from the housing authority, there is no specific language in the the plea agreement for Vargas banning him from public employment.