FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, November 14, 2016


Widely Respected U.S. Senator Tapped for Critical Role

Trenton, NJ – The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced that Local Government Services Director Timothy Cunningham has designated former U.S. Senator Jeffrey S. Chiesa as the Director’s Designee in charge of Atlantic City’s financial matters in accordance with the bipartisan Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act (MSRA). 

“Senator Chiesa brings important insights and management experience from years of service in both the public and private sectors, which makes him an excellent candidate to oversee the responsible management of Atlantic City’s finances,” said DCA Commissioner Charles A. Richman. “I am confident that during the upcoming months and into the future, Senator Chiesa will expand on the efforts undertaken to date and continue to build on the existing groundwork to ensure Atlantic City achieves financial stability.”  

Atlantic City has a structural deficit of more than $100 million that required significant State aid in order to balance its 2016 budget and could have catastrophic consequences for future budgets absent of meaningful financial reforms.  The City’s budgetary problems are exacerbated by bonded and unbonded debt that must be addressed. 

“I am committed to improving essential government and community services for the people of the Atlantic City,” said Senator Chiesa.  “I will listen to the people and work hand in hand with local stakeholders to create solutions that will prevent waste and relieve generations of taxpayers from the burden of long-term debt. We will put Atlantic City back on a path to fiscal stability.”  

As the Director’s Designee, Senator Chiesa will have wide-ranging authority to effectuate fiscal reforms.  Working with Director Cunningham and his team, City officials, key stakeholders, and the local community, the Senator will judiciously exercise the powers granted to him under the MSRA to place the City on a path toward long-term fiscal stability by expanding upon the efforts undertaken to date, as well as the groundwork laid out in DCA Commissioner Charles Richman’s November 1 and 7 reports.  Immediate steps include entering into PILOT agreements with casinos, as required by the Casino Property Tax Stabilization Act, and ensuring that all payments for debt service and to Atlantic County and the Atlantic City School District are made on time.  The Senator also will be exploring right-sizing the City’s work force and other changes to ensure that savings can be realized in the City’s calendar year 2017 budget. He will also pursue financing and other opportunities to reduce the City’s significant debt. These efforts will be undertaken to not only place the City on a path to long-term financial stability, but also to attract investment that will revitalize the City and increase job opportunities for its residents.  

“The simple fact is Atlantic City cannot afford to function the way it has in the past,” said Senator Chiesa. “I look forward to meeting with Mayor Guardian and members of the City Council and starting the process of bringing this great City back to financial stability. It is my hope to work together with firm conviction and not disrupt the democratic process.”  

The Mayor and the City Council will maintain day-to-day municipal functions, but the Senator, in conjunction with Director Cunningham and his team, will be implementing the City’s fiscal recovery efforts in accordance with the MSRA.  

Senator Chiesa rejoined the firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC in November 2013 following his service as United States Senator for New Jersey. Governor Christie nominated Senator Chiesa to be New Jersey's Attorney General in December 2011, and the New Jersey Senate unanimously confirmed him in January 2012. As Attorney General, Chiesa was New Jersey's chief law enforcement officer and had primary regulatory responsibility for the state's casino, gaming and alcohol beverage industries. Senator Chiesa is an experienced attorney with a background in both the public and private sectors. Chiesa has significant experience gained while serving as Governor Christie’s Transition Team Executive Director during which he oversaw a comprehensive review of state government operations with assessments and recommendations to improve, shrink and eliminate wasteful or inefficient practices.  For additional information on Senator Chiesa:


Tammori Petty
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055