The latest political problem for Bergen County Executive Dennis C. McNerney: a state Department of Education report that found extraordinary waste and mismanagement at the Bergen County Technical and Special Services school district. McNerney, flying solo these days following the criminal conviction of his mentor, initially sought to blame the GOP by noting that the former Superintendent of the school district, Robert Aloia, had been the County Administrator under his Republican predecessor, who left office seven years ago. But McNerney was forced to back off after a reporter noted that his former chief of staff, John Susino, had signed several reimbursement checks to school officials as the district’s business administrator. The conventional wisdom is the Susino, a Democratic State Committeeman and a former Executive Director of the Bergen County Democratic Organization when Joseph Ferriero was chairman, will be out of a job soon.
McNerney also had to retract and resend his original statement to The Record after initially calling for the resignation of all school board members who served during Aloia’s tenure; he wound up only seeking the ouster of Jack Drakeford, who was the board president until just a few months ago.
McNerney faces a tough race for re-election this year against Republican Kathleen Donovan, the five-term County Clerk. Flying solo in dealing with the school scandal will only encourage Democrats to continue talking about a new candidate.