Educational Facilities Authority action draws Christie veto

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed a portion of the minutes of the May 24 board meeting of the New Jersey Educational Facilities Authority (NJEFA) for its appointment of a new Deputy Executive Director.

Christie said in a release that the selection process for the position was flawed since no application or interview process was conducted and that the Board simply handpicked an employee for the post.

“The need for a Deputy Executive Director at EFA, which has a staff of only fourteen employees, is questionable,” Christie wrote in his veto letter to NJEFA Executive Director James Poole.

“The designation of important staff titles such as Deputy Executive Director should be made only after the appropriate agency leaders have determined that the position is necessary and that candidates have been considered in a fair and consistent manner. Neither of those tasks was accomplished here.”

In his letter, the governor also pointed out that the executive director, on the record at the May 24 meeting, noted there was no need for the position.

The authority appointed Katherine Newell, the director of risk management, to also serve as the deputy executive director. The position had been vacant since the retirement of Barbara Cannon on April 1.

A review of the minutes of the Authority’s meeting of May 24 shows there was no unanimity on the appointment.

Although Chairman Roger Jacobs said he felt the need for a deputy for occasions when Executive Director James Poole was out of the office, Steven Petrecca of the Treasurer’s Office questioned the need for such a person given the small size of the agency.

Jacobs said they were talking about a “place-holder,’’ and there would be no change in salary.

According to the minutes, Poole also felt a deputy was not necessary but he would abide by the decision of the board and the agency bylaws.


Educational Facilities Authority action draws Christie veto