From the political heartland of Cleveland, technically inactive Governor Chris Christie usurped Acting Governor Kim Guadagno’s would-be microphone moment to make an announcement: Labor Commissioner Harold J. Wirths will leave office next month.
The Governor will nominate Wirths – on duty at labor since 2010 – to serve on the State Parole Board.
“I am grateful for the dedication and strong sense of public service Hal has brought to my administration,” said Christie. “He demonstrated great leadership during an economic downturn when our Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund was bankrupt and the Great Recession hit its peak. Hal’s staff introduced re-employment programs that involved private employers, and they launched fiscal reforms and anti-fraud programs to help restore the Trust Fund. Now, as Hal leaves, our Trust Fund is fully solvent, more than 258,000 private sector jobs have been added and the unemployment rate has been cut by more than half. I want to thank Hal for all his good work and wish him the very best.”
Wirths chimed a statement.
“Serving under Governor Christie’s leadership for the last six and a half years has been an incredible honor,” said the departing commish. “Together with the department’s talented staff, we have overcome tremendous challenges to make great strides for the people of New Jersey, including cutting the unemployment rate in half and restoring the bankrupt Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to solvency, triggering unprecedented tax savings for New Jersey businesses. I am proud of our accomplishments and confident in the department’s continued success.”
Wirths lives in Hardyston Township with his wife and two daughters, according to the governor’s office.