Governor Phil Murphy

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Governor Murphy, Schools Development Authority (SDA) Board Chairman Rob Nixon, and Interim SDA CEO Manuel Da Silva Announce Findings of Two Outside Legal Reviews and SDA Audit Committee Review


Governor:“SDA Board Chair Rob Nixon and Interim SDA CEO Manny Da Silva Have My Full and Unwavering Support to Make Any Management Decisions They Deem Necessary Based on the Findings of These Reports”

TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy, Schools Development Authority (SDA) Board Chairman Rob Nixon, and Interim SDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Manuel Da Silva today announced the findings of two outside legal reviews and an SDA Audit Committee personnel and hiring practices review.

The two outside legal reviews – one conducted by DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP concerning allegations of file tampering and the other performed by Carmagnola & Ritardi, LLC investigating the 2018 reorganization and hiring practices at the SDA – were submitted to the Division of Law at the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General this month. 

“When allegations of impropriety were first raised about personnel actions at the SDA, my administration took swift action to investigate these matters in a fair and appropriate manner through the retention of outside counsel,” said Governor Murphy. “The SDA plays a critical role in the construction, modernization, and renovation of schools in some of our most underserved districts across the state. The findings of these three reports will help guide SDA leadership in recommitting to the organization’s core mission: providing underprivileged students with safe, high-quality learning environments. SDA Board Chair Rob Nixon and Interim SDA CEO Manny Da Silva have my full and unwavering support to make any management decisions they deem necessary based on the findings of these reports.”

“The SDA has a track record of success delivering quality schools throughout New Jersey so it’s important that we take time for self-reflection and demonstrate a willingness to improve,” said SDA Board Chairman Rob Nixon. “I therefore fully support Interim CEO Da Silva’s restructuring plan to implement the recommendations of our internal audit and the finding of the independent legal counsel.”

“The SDA is undergoing changes to more efficiently meet its current needs,” said Interim SDA CEO Manuel Da Silva. “The changes support the declining number of educational facilities remaining in our current portfolio.”

Public versions of the three reports may be found here:

Carmagnola & Ritardi, LLC – “Report on the Investigation into the 2018 Reorganization and Hiring Practices at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority” (July 2019)

DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP – “New Jersey Schools Development Authority – Report on Investigation Into Allegations of File-Tampering” (July 2019)
SDA Audit Committee – Personnel and Hiring Practices Review (July 2019)