By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Vargas’ sentencing was originally set for August 18, was postponed until September 14 and has now again been pushed until October 6, according to U.S. attorney’s office spokesman William Skaggs.
As Hudson County View first reported, Vargas, 65, pleaded guilty to performing equity skimming with a $417,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) back in May.
Vargas admitted in court that on or about September 21, 2007, he purchased the rental property, located at 5512 Grant Pl., and purposely stopped making payments on it, yet continued to collect rental income from the residence.
A former car salesman, the elected official resigned from office in February 2015, citing â€œpersonal circumstancesâ€ as the reason.
Since then, he has found employment at both the townâ€™s housing and parking authorities, earning annual salaries of $35,000 and $40,000, respectively.
Despite his guilty plea, both autonomous agencies initially opted to keep Vargas on the payroll.
However, at the end of June, the HUD Departmental Enforcement Center informed Vargas that he would be suspended without pay from the housing authority.
At the regularly scheduled May meeting of the West New York Housing Authority, Agency Counsel Frank Leanza insisted that there was no reason to terminate Vargas since such an action was not explicitly stated in his plea agreement.
Vargas’ attorney in the matter, Chris Adams, of Holmdel, could not immediately be reached at his office or via email.
Adams is also representing West New York Mayor Felix Roque, who had Vargas run on his victorious commissioner slate in May 2011, in his bribery case brought forth by the state Attorney General’s Office. That court matter currently has a trial scheduled for November 29.