Schepisi: I’m hoping to finally get SDA answers at Tuesday’s Alvarez hearing

By Holly Schepisi

Over the past several days former employees from the SDA personally have reached out seeking help from our committee.

Without any warning employees, some of whom had been employed by the agency for more than 15 years, were called into a “personnel meeting” and abruptly fired by Al Alvarez, a man who six months prior was told to leave his position after sexual assault allegations against him came to light.


Alvarez and his boss Lizette Delgado-Polanco replaced good, qualified people with cronies who had no experience and no qualifications other than being either related to or politically connected to them for salaries oftentimes double the amount of the experienced people fired without justification.

They included a second-cousin, who, it turns out, had been accused of sexual harassment in a previous job. That cousin resigned last month after and the USA TODAY NETWORK New Jersey sought details about the hiring. But the new crop also included the mother of Delgado-Polanco’s grandchild, 10 former employees who either worked for or were represented by the two unions where Delgado-Polanco previously worked, and at least one friend of her daughter’s.

Delgado-Polanco’s daughter and husband were also given newly created positions in related agencies.

To put numbers into context, as our State is financially crashing and burning, as our area schools receive virtually no school funding, the Executive Director, her husband and daughter are making a combined pensionable salary (courtesy of the State of New Jersey) of almost $450,000.

I hope at tomorrow’s hearing we finally get some answers.


Holly Schepisi represents New Jersey’s 39th Legislative District in the General Assembly. She sits on the Select Committee on Oversight currently charged with probing the Murphy Administration’s hiring practices.