Ex-School Development Authority CEO steps down amid hiring scandal

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON -

The former CEO of the Schools Development Authority has stepped down as the vice chair of the New Jersey Democratic Party amid a hiring scandal at the school agency.

Lizette Delgado-Polanco stepped down from the position, one day after she also resigned from her post at the SDA.

The former CEO faced pressure to resign after it was revealed that she terminated over three dozen SDA employees and then hired people close to her, including a cousin and the mother of her grandchild.

“That’s an affront to the people of New Jersey that we have people who are unqualified for jobs being placed in patronage jobs. It was basically a patronage paradise,” says Republican Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz.

Munoz examined the hiring practices as part of a special committee investigating how former SDA official Al Alvarez was hired for his job despite a rape allegation. The question of who actually hired Alvarez for his position has not yet been answered.

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Munoz says that she wants to know more about how the agency operates.

“The people of New Jersey should be offended by this. And so we need to have questions like: Why did you hire those people? Was it because they were friends and family and colleagues and former union members? We've never got an answer to those questions,” she says.

Munoz says that the state has nepotism rules for a reason.

When asked if he regretted hiring Delgado-Polanco, Gov. Phil Murphy said that it was time to move on.

“We are looking forward…in appointing an interim director and turning the page,” Murphy said.

Delgado-Polanco made $225,000 per year as head of the SDA. Her resignation takes effect on Friday.

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