The card “Paid off” I read it as resolve the special, spend 5 resources to choose a character. So resolve dice, then you can spend 5 resources and if you do you can choose a character. If you do not spend five resources then you cannot choose a character but the dice is still resolved. So with “Paid Off” you could spend to resources and simply remove the “Crime Lord” dice.
If an opponent has paid off and spends two resources can they remove crime lord’s special ability dice? The ability says spend 5 resources to remove character. Does that mean you have the option to spend five resources to remove a character otherwise just resolve the dice to no affect, if the opponent didn’t not have five resources to remove a character.