NJ Politics Digest: SDA Head Resigns Her Post Amid Hiring Scandal

The vice chairperson of the state Democratic Committee has resigned her position as the head of the state Schools Development Authority amid a hiring scandal.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco.
Lizette Delgado-Polanco. Max Pizarro for Observer

The vice chairperson of the state Democratic Committee and a close political ally of Gov. Phil Murphy has resigned her position as the head of the state Schools Development Authority amid a hiring scandal. She allegedly fired longtime employees and replaced them with about three dozen friends, family and business associates, many of whom were placed in jobs paying more than $100,000 annually and some of whom did not have the required qualifications for the positions, The Record reports.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco’s resignation comes as Senate President Steve Sweeney vowed that she would face tough questioning when appearing before a Senate Committee later this month. Sweeney has expressed shocked that Delgado-Polanco continued to be employed by the state, and he even said the scandal-plagued SDA should be eliminated.

At an Assembly committee hearing earlier this month, Delgado-Polanco—who, the Record reported, has also inflated her education credentials at times—contended there was nothing wrong with her hiring practices, but also refused to answer many questions about them.

The SDA is responsible for building schools in poor districts. It has run out of money and Delgado-Polanco was seeking billions in new state funding.

In her resignation letter, Delgado-Polanco said she was proud of the work she has done at the SDA, the Record reports. New Jersey Republican leaders have said that her resignation should not stop investigations into how she ran the SDA and its hiring practices.

Quote of the Day: “The resignation of Lizette Delgado-Polanco should not be viewed as a ‘get out of jail free’ card for either the SDA or the Murphy administration,” — State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr., calling for investigations into the embattled agency to continue.

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NJ Politics Digest: SDA Head Resigns Her Post Amid Hiring Scandal