NJ Politics Digest: Another Hiring Scandal Hits Murphy Team

Lizette Delgado-Polanco.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco. Max Pizarro for Observer

The state Schools Development Authority is already known as the place where a top staffer of the Murphy campaign was given a high-paying state job after being accused of raping a campaign volunteer.

Now, reporting by The Record of Bergen County has shown how the politically connected head of the state agency, Lizette Delgado-Polanco, allegedly fired long-time employees to give her own relatives and associates high-paying slots on the state payroll.

The report details how Ms. Delgado-Polanco seems to have used her post as SDA Chief Executive Officer to allegedly fire dozens of staffers over the last six months and replace them with friends and relatives earning a total of $3.3 million, according to a report by NJ101.5.

Murphy, who refuses to name who hired Al Alvarez for his $140,000-per-year post at the agency after he was accused of rape, now says he’s “trying to figure out” what is going on in the agency.

Murphy claims his administration was looking into the agency’s hiring practices before the Record report gave his administration another black eye.

Delgado-Polanco is a prominent Murphy supporter and vice chair of the state Democratic Party. Her post at the SDA pays $225,000 annually—more than the governor’s salary. Her hires have included 33 people, many with ties to her, including 10 whose salaries reach as high as $170,000 annually. The hires include the mother of Delgado-Polanco’s grandson, who earns $110,000, NJ.com reports.

Quote of the Day: “It’s money we don’t have. Here we are adding to the pile of money we don’t have,” — State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon, on the impact on state and local government budgets of the Democrats’ plan to raise the state minimum wage to $15 per hour.

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NJ Politics Digest: Another Hiring Scandal Hits Murphy Team