Bergen County Sheriff Leo McGuire may be a little jealous this afternoon of his Passaic County counterpart.
According to two sources, McGuire was in the running for the first deputy post in the Port Authority Police Department that Passaic County Sheriff Jerry Speziale snagged yesterday. McGuire still may be looking for a backdoor, according to one source, but the sheriff shot that down: “Absolutely not.”
An affable go-getter, McGuire was reportedly covetous of a U.S. Marshal position in the past. “It was widely reported that I flirted with the idea of serving in a larger capacity as a U.S. Marshal,” McGuire told PolitickerNJ. “Upon reflection, I removed myself from consideration.”
Late last year, McGuire may also have made a hush-hush push to be the Democrat’s county executive candidate when incumbent Democrat Dennis McNerney’s popularity dipped, tied to the public flogging of since-vindicated party chieftain Joe Ferriero.
One source said Rep. Steve Rothman (D-09) kept his hope to one day succeed Sen. Frank Lautenberg alive by giving McNerney the nod over McGuire, thereby keeping his Bergen house in order.
That is when, two sources claimed, Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Bob Yudin began lobbying to get McGuire the gig at the PAPD, especially attractive to the likes of Speziale and McGuire because it pays well and allows them to access their police pensions while requiring much less responsibility than a county sheriff.
Yudin denied the claim, but the sources said Yudin was simply out-muscled by power-brokering state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove), who has been rumored to be the architect of the GOP’s Speziale special.
“Absolutely, outrageously not true,” Yudin said. “The only conversations I’ve had with Leo McGuire was at, like, the 200 Club (a charity function for first-responders), where we exchange hellos…It’s laughable.”
McGuire, nonetheless, was stoked that his name is being floated for these jobs. “I absolutely appreciate the support and the goodwill,” but, he said, “I continue to be committed to the task at hand.”
He said the “innuendos and rumors” will be proved wrong at the campaign finish line.
“There’s zero percent chance that I’m going anywhere else,” McGuire said.