NJ Politics Digest: SDA Scrambled to Create Job Descriptions for Employees

The New Jersey state house.

The New Jersey state house. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

The bad press isn’t finished for the state’s troubled Schools Development Authority, despite the fact that its executive director resigned following the allegations she’d turned the place into a patronage pit by firing longtime employees and giving high-paying state jobs to family and work connections.

In its latest investigation into the agency, the Record of Bergen County reports that the authority began creating job descriptions for about half its new hires only after questions were raised about its hiring practices, and that job descriptions for 16 of the 20 positions were only written after journalists requested them in February. The authority had fought against efforts to make them turn over job descriptions for the posts until the state Attorney General’s Office in April released “generic” job descriptions, the report said. Most of the job descriptions were written in March and April, according to the report.

The report notes that there are several inquiries into the authority’s practices under former Chief Executive Officer Lizette Delgado-Polanco, who resigned after the scandal broke. Senate President Steve Sweeney said he was concerned that while Delgado-Polanco has left, many of the people she hired continue to hold jobs, and at least 10 of the new hires did not meet basic requirements listed for the position, the report said.

While state law does not require that public agencies create job descriptions, the report notes that good government groups say job descriptions are essential to matching employees with the right position.

Quote of the Day: “We’ve given a lot of thought to the SDA and the fact that all of the hires that were made—and there was a lot of questionable hires—are still there,” — Senate President Steve Sweeney.

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NJ Politics Digest: SDA Scrambled to Create Job Descriptions for Employees