A New Jersey City official was arrested Sunday after he stayed at a local motel with a 12-year-old boy without the consent of the boy's guardian, authorities say.
Daniel Vergara, 53, of Paterson, was stopped and questioned by South Hackensack Police after he stayed at a motel there with the boy, according to the Bergen County prosecutor's office.
Detectives from the Special Victims Unit at the prosecutor's office spoke to the boy, and the boy "provided specific details regarding his relationship with Vergara" that resulted in Vergara's arrest, authorities said.
Airport Motel owner Ken Gandhi recalled Vergara checking in, though he didn't remember seeing the boy.
"The guy came to me for the room and he asked me for the room, and I just gave him the room for one night," he said. "The next day, police came to us and they were looking for the guy."
Vergara, a deputy chief inspector with the Paterson sanitation department, was charged with child endangerment and remanded to jail on $75,000 bail. Attorney information wasn't immediately available.
City officials say they are aware of the charges against Vergara and are tracking the criminal investigation against him.
An official in the city of Paterson who asked not to be identified said Vergara is a well-known public servant who has previously served as a school board member and led the Paterson Puerto Rican Day Parade.
He was heavily involved with the local Boy Scouts and created his own Boy Scouts troop, the official said.
The prosecutor's office would not say whether Vergara is a person of interest in any other case.
-- Roseanne Colletti contributed to this report.