Ex-New Jersey assembly speaker lands $280K job

February 16, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Democrat who was New Jersey’s Assembly speaker is getting a new $280,000 job.

Officials on Thursday approved Vincent Prieto to become president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority, the agency that oversees the Meadowlands.

“As a Meadowlands resident for over 30 years, I’m intimately familiar with and passionate about the vital importance of this region as both an economic engine and environmental jewel,” Prieto said in a statement.

The job comes more than a month after Prieto was replaced as speaker by Assemblyman Craig Coughlin.

Prieto will be paid $55,000 more in the post than current CEO Wayne Hasenbalg, who was appointed by former Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Hasenbalg will remain with the authority in a currently unspecified capacity.

Prieto will resign the Assembly seat he’s held for 14 years and give up his position as a construction code official in Secaucus.

“This is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime, and I look forward to this challenge,” Prieto said. “I think there are a lot of things to get accomplished.”

The authority’s board chairman, Mike Ferguson, called the move “especially appropriate” because Prieto helped craft the legislation that merged the organization with the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission in 2015.

Prieto will start in the new role on Feb. 26.

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