Jersey City’s prisoner-reentry program is embroiled in accusations and arguments that could see former Gov. Jim McGreevey — who has made a serious commitment to helping ex-convicts transition to life on the outside — dumped from the program he’s headed up since 2013. In fact, the decision may have been made last night.
The situation has been on a low boil for months, if not longer.
It came to a head last week, when Michael Critchley, McGreevey’s attorney, sent a letter to Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop.
In it, Critchley alleges McGreevey is the victim of political retaliation for firing one of Fulop’s allies from Jersey City Employment Training Center Martin’s Place, which the former governor heads. The letter threatens to sue Fulop if McGreevey is terminated.
McGreevey says he’s claiming whistleblower protections over his firing of Eugene McKnight, a longtime Jersey City Democratic political operative. McKnight admitted to taking cash payments from reentry clients — anywhere from $40 to $80 a person — after he helped them get jobs.
Fulop doesn’t control the Jersey City Employment and Training Program, but he’s been appointing close allies to the board of directors — five out of nine to be exact.
The Fulop administration refutes all of this. Spokesperson Ashley Manz said in a statement McGreevey, “ … has provided nothing to substantiate that claim,” adding “the mayor and McGreevey haven’t spoken in years.”
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