WNY Mayor Roque’s son gets $75K job in town clerk’s office

Joseph Roque, son of Mayor Felix Roque (center) has become the town clerk and chairman of the local Democratic party.
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Joseph Roque, son of Mayor Felix Roque (center) has become the town clerk and chairman of the local Democratic party.

WEST NEW YORK – Joseph Roque, son of West New York Mayor Felix Roque, was given a clerk job in the town clerk’s office in February at an annual salary of $75,000.
Joseph, 27, previously worked for the Hudson County Department of Roads at an annual salary of $27,000.
Joseph Roque was convicted Oct. 1, 2013 of a misdemeanor, hacking into a political website run by one of his father’s political opponents. (Felix Roque was acquitted of a related charge.) Nevertheless, the younger Roque was also chosen as the chair of the town’s local Democratic party last year.
Mayor Roque said his son was qualified for the job and applied when the position opened.
“My son is a good worker, and someone who I know will do a good job,” Mayor Roque said. “I have every confidence in him.”
Mayor Roque said he did not believe that the public should be concerned since he believes his son will provide good service to the town.
Although a municipal clerk can be removed without cause, a person in the position can gain tenure after three years, at which time he cannot be fired without some dereliction of duty.
“We all want to see what’s best for our children,” Mayor Roque said, seeing nothing wrong about hiring his son for what is considered an extremely powerful job with the town.
Hiring of family members of elected officials is not unusual. The current town clerk of Secaucus was hired at a time when his brother served on town council there.