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Contact: Erin Darreff / (609) 847-3600
September 30, 2020
Corrado/Oroho: Corruption Watchdog Confirms State Agency Is Patronage Pit Under Murphy

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Senator Kristin M. Corrado and Senator Steven Oroho blasted the Murphy Administration for deliberately and deceitfully turning the School Development Authority (SDA) into an unabashed patronage pit.

A report published by the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation confirmed that top officials in Gov. Murphy’s inner circle were well aware of the patronage hiring spree by disgraced former SDA chief Lizette Delgado-Polanco.

Sens. Kristin Corrado and Steven Oroho blasted the Murphy Administration for deliberately and deceitfully turning the School Development Authority into a patronage pit. (SenateNJ.com)

“This investigation confirms what we have known for two years – the Murphy administration encouraged, approved, and then vehemently denied blatant nepotism and cronyism,” said Corrado (R-40). “Firing highly qualified government employees and hiring family and friends who lack sufficient skills is the epitome of abuse of power and personal greed. The Murphy administration must be held fully accountable for their aversion to the truth.”

“The truth that has finally come to light through the SCI report confirms our worst suspicions of improper and unethical wrongdoings,” said Oroho (R-24). “The hiring practices of the Murphy Administration must be further investigated to put an end to nepotism and political patronage and to help restore the public’s faith in state government.”

A news report published today by NJ Advance Media detailed how Delgado-Polanco “had closer ties to the governor’s office than previously disclosed, New Jersey’s top corruption watchdog said in a report Wednesday.”

The State Commission of Investigation report referred to Delgado-Polanco as a “woefully inexperienced CEO” who oversaw an agency plagued by “questionable administrative actions, suspect hires, and outright managerial malfeasance.”

Corrado and Oroho served as the Senate Republican members of the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee (LSOC), which was charged with investigating the hiring practices of the Murphy administration. They said the new SCI report leaves no doubt that the LSOC’s work remains incomplete.

“After reading the report, there are many more questions that need answers,” added Corrado. “Who in the governor’s office is overseeing hires? What measures can we enact to prevent these abuses? In the spirit of good governance, I will continue to call for the Legislature to continue its works to uncover the whole truth and develop effective reforms.”

“Now that the SCI has published its findings on abuses at the SDA, I believe their investigators should turn their attention to the more than 7,000 preventable COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, veterans homes, and long-term care facilities,” added Oroho. “We still have veterans who remain at risk, along with thousands of vulnerable residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities who deserve better protections. They deserve answers too.”

Related Facebook Post:
https://www.facebook.com/sencorrado/posts/1391701894368496

Related Tweet:
https://twitter.com/stevenoroho/status/1311408794589630466

Website Post:
https://www.senatenj.com/index.php/oroho/corrado-oroho-corruption-watchdog-confirms-state-agency-is-patronage-pit-under-murphy/50326