Vega wants to hold on to council presidency

Jersey City Council President Mariano Vega, who was arrested on corruption charges last month, said today that he has no plans to relinquish leadership of the council.

“No, I haven’t gotten to that point yet. I think it’s premature. I think that the idea was that I wanted to kind of temporarily step aside so Peter Brennan could chair it as president pro-tem,” said Vega in a phone interview.

Although Brennan was voted council president pro-tem, the position didn’t work out the way Vega, Brennan and most of the council hoped. The legislation, it turned out, only allowed Brennan to take control of the meetings when Vega was absent, instead of giving him control of the body while Vega dealt with the federal case against him.

Jersey City officials have been quietly applying pressure on Vega to give up the council presidency permanently, though Vega preferred not to talk about it.

“I’d rather keep counsel to myself,” he said.

Vega wants to hold on to council presidency