As the new administration looks to reorganize the embattled Passaic Valley Sewerage Authority (PVSA), watch for at least two part-time $53,420-a-year lawyers to be on the termination short list: James Piro, a former Essex County GOP Chairman and Freeholder, and Eric Pennington, the Chief Judge of the Orange Municipal Court. Piro has a problem because State Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove), the current Essex GOP Chairman, can’t stand him. Piro won’t be helped by his close ties to former Assembly Majority Leader Paul DiGaetano (R-Nutley), another O’Toole foe, and a backer of Steve Lonegan’s 2009 gubernatorial bid. Watch Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore to object to Piro, whose law firm hired a public relations firm to announce a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Republican Mayor of Long Beach just days before the 2009 election.
While it’s nothing personal, Gov. Christopher Christie probably won’t like Pennington because he holds three jobs: in addition to the PVSA and his judgeship, he serves as a Trustee of another embattled public agency, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).