Home>Highlight>Linden ready to pull Devine PR contract

Lisa McCormick, left, and Jim Devine

Linden ready to pull Devine PR contract

Armstead seems to have had enough of controversial consultant

By David Wildstein, July 21 2020 11:56 pm

Controversial political consultant Jim Devine is about to lose his $17,500-a-year public relations contract with the City of Linden, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Devine had been given the contract by Mayor Derek Armstead, who appears to be moving in a different direction.

The City Council tonight took the first step to creating a new full-time public information assistant, a post that would replace Devine’s contact.

There is speculation that Armstead will hire his campaign manager, Daniel Yamakaitis, the son of City Council President Michelle Yamakaitis.

Devine is the life partner of Lisa McCormick, a shadowy perennial candidate who won just 10% of the vote in the July 7 Democratic primary against Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

Devine has a contentious 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,” State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) told the Globe in 2019.

Watson Coleman is pursuing a complaint against McCormick.

During the primary, McCormick allegedly sent emails using the congresswoman’s campaign letter head in an attempt to trick voters into believing that Watson Coleman, one of the most progressive member of the state’s House delegation, backed President Donald Trump.

The congresswoman asked authorities to investigate the fake emails after one trafficked anti-Semitic tropes in an attempt to smear the congresswoman.

An attorney for Watson Coleman’s campaign told McCormick and her life partner and campaign consultant, Jim Devine, to preserve documents related to her campaign, a move that typically precedes legal action.

McCormick has lost primaries for U.S. Senate, Union County Clerk, Union County Surrogate, and Rahway City Council.  She announced her bid for governor in 2017 but never filed her nominating petitions.

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