The Linden City Council will vote tonight on Mayor Derek Armstead’s proposal to award a public relations contract to a company run by controversial political consultant Jim Devine and his life partner, perennial candidate Lisa McCormick, according to the council agenda.
The firm, CMD Media, publishes NJ Today, a weekly community newspaper.
The New Jersey Globe reported in April that Armstead had proposed hiring Devine, but the mayor denied the veracity of that report.
Devine has a controversial history.
In 2006, Devine Media Enterprises was found to have overcharged Linden for running legal notices of tax sales in their newspapers.
At the time, Devine had a $35,000-a-year contract to do public relations work for the city, according to a published report.
He was also accused of overcharging the Rahway Board of Education for legal notices.
Last year, the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission levied a $120,000 fine against a PAC run by Devine for failing to report campaign contributions and expenditures for a political action committee he ran.
ELEC found in a final decision released on Wednesday that the Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Committee, which was chaired by Devine, failed to file contributions and expenditures for four years between 2005 and 2010.
The PAC is dormant, which makes collecting the fine nearly impossible.
“He is the king of sleaze and so abusive in his political conduct that normally, nothing he says or writes shocks the mind. Until today,” Scutari told the Globe in May.
McCormick has lost primaries for U.S. Senate, Union County Clerk, and most recently for Union County Surrogate. She announced her bid for governor in 2017 but never filed her nominating petitions.