POLITICS & GOVERNMENT

CEO of Schools Development Authority Lizette Delgado-Polanco resigns

Lizette Delgado-Polanco is out as head of the Schools Development Authority.

The embattled CEO of the agency charged with building schools in the state’s poorest districts submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Phil Murphy effective April 26.

Delgado-Polanco became the center of a patronage scandal when she allegedly ordered the firings of more than two dozen career professionals at the authority and hired 38 people, several of them friends and relatives. She has denied wrongdoing, referring to the hirings and firings as a “restructuring.”

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“I made the decision to resign after much deliberation because the work of the SDA should be about delivering high-quality educational facilities for our students; politics should not be in the conversation,” she wrote in the letter.

According to testimony from Delgado-Polanco before the Assembly Budget Committee, the agency is in financial straits and only has enough money left for emergency school repairs and staff salaries.

The Governor’s Office had no comment Tuesday. Murphy has ordered a review of all independent state authorities’ hiring practices following the controversy at the SDA.

Delgado-Polanco retains her position as vice chair of the Democratic State Committee.