Former Gov. Jim McGreevey was fired as the head of a nonprofit that manages Jersey City’s job training and prisoner re-entry program.
The board that oversees the program voted 5-3-1 on Monday night to fire McGreevey during a 2-hour meeting that was attended by many of his supporters.
The board didn’t state why McGreevey was fired, and the former governor said no one has “given me the courtesy of a detailed reason why I am being dismissed.”
In an email to supporters prior to the meeting, McGreevey wrote: “Despite our clients’ successes, tomorrow night, Monday, I anticipate being terminated from Jersey City employment. They have given me inconsistent and conflicting reasons for this abrupt decision.”
McGreevey alleged he is the victim of retaliation by Mayor Steve Fulop and before he was fired as chief of Jersey City’s prisoner re-entry program, he threatened to file a lawsuit against Fulop.
In a Jan. 3 letter to Fulop, McGreevey attorney Michael Critchley said any termination of McGreevey as executive director of the Jersey City Employment & Training Program would violate New Jersey’s whistleblower act.
The motivation for punishing McGreevey, according to Critchley, is McGreevey’s termination of a Fulop operative from JCETP last year.
McGreevey, a Democrat, served as the 52nd Governor of New Jersey from 2002 until his resignation in 2004.
He served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1990 to 1992, as the Mayor of Woodbridge Township from 1991 to 2002 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1994 to 1998.
He was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1997 but was narrowly defeated by Republican incumbent Christine Todd Whitman. He ran again in 2001 and was elected by a large margin.
In early 2002, McGreevey was criticized for appointing his secret lover, Israeli national Golan Cipel, as homeland security adviser even though the man lacked experience or other qualifications for the position.
David D’Amiano, a key McGreevey fund-raiser, was ultimately sentenced to two years in prison for extorting $40,000 from a farmer, Mark Halper, a Middlesex County landowner cooperating with investigators.
In the 47-page indictment, there are repeated references to the involvement of “State Official 1,” later revealed to be McGreevey.
In a conversation with Halper, McGreevey used the word “Machiavelli,” the code arranged by D’Amiano intended to assure the farmer that his $40,000 campaign contribution would get him preferential treatment in a dispute over his land.
McGreevey was also involved in facilitating ventures to profit Charles Kushner, a billionaire real estate developer who later went to jail for crimes related to his financial support for the governor and other political figures.
Charles Kushner is father of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner.
Kushner reportedly introduced Cipel to McGreevey as an inducement to seal his loyalty.
He announced in August 2004 that he was “a gay American” and acknowledged having an extramarital affair with Cipel, becoming the nation’s first openly gay governor.
He resigned that year.
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