School authority officials say agency is improving after hiring scandal

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Officials at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority says that they are turning the agency around after a hiring scandal saw 30 employees fired.

The employees were all hired under the tenure of the former CEO Lizette Delgado-Polanco who is hired friends and relatives to positions some were unqualified to have.

“What we learned is unacceptable and unjustifiable. But reports alone are not enough when the integrity and future of this authority are under the microscope,” says SDA Chairman Rob Nixon.

The SDA is an independent agency in charge of building schools in 31 districts across New Jersey. The agency will now hire a consultant to recommend changes.

But officials say that some of the people 30 people recently let go will have an opportunity to get their jobs back.

RELATED: Audit finds favoritism, shoddy hiring practices NJ schools agency 
RELATED: Ex-School Development Authority CEO steps down amid hiring scandal 

“We'll post it internally and externally and they do have an opportunity to come in and compete with other applicants,” says interim CEO Manny da Silva.

Adele Bonar is a former SDA employee who lost her job a year ago after Delgado-Polanco ordered a massive layoff.

“They made room for all these employees by firing us. Gave them jobs they weren't qualified for,” she says. “Executives looked the other way and she took the raises that she gave them.”

Bonar says she was let go without explanation. She says that she wants the chance to get her job back.

“I don't want people to forget us. That we're not collateral damage. Because SDA is not right as rain now because of what they did. What they did to us was wrong,” Bonar says.

The review found insufficient evidence that Delgado Polanco's firings were for the purpose of bringing in new employees.

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