Agency head declines answering about hiring relatives

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The head of a state agency overseeing school construction projects says she can’t answer questions about reports that she hired people with personal connections because it’s “under review.”

Schools Development Authority CEO Lizette Delgado-Polanco appeared before the Assembly Budget Committee on Wednesday. Republican Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz asked Delgado-Polanco to explain reports that the agency had hired family members and former colleagues. Delgado-Polanco declined to answer. She says the issue was under review by counsel. The questioning follows reports from The Record newspaper that Delgado-Polanco hired people, including a second cousin and the mother of her grandchild, who the paper said lacked listed job qualifications during an overhaul of the agency. The authority has said the new employees were hired because they had the necessary skills.