The New Jersey Department of Education won’t say when they offered a job to former Camden County Commissioner Carmen Rodriguez or what her salary is.
“We don’t comment on personnel issues,” said Laura Fredrick, a spokesperson, who refused any comment on the circumstances of Rodriguez’s hiring.
Rodriguez clandestinely filed a letter of resignation after nearly eighteen years in public office to become the Camden County Executive Superintendent of Schools on May 31, with her resignation effective on June 3.
But Camden County, the state and Rodriguez kept the news of her new job secret. There was no formal announcement of her resignation, and the public notice of her new post was made by Rodriguez on her LinkedIn page last week.
Reached on her cell phone, the acting Commissioner of Education, Dr. Angelica Allen-McMillan, declined comment.
The Department of Education did not add Rodriguez to their website until a few days ago.
Despite her intention to leave, Rodriguez remained on the June 7 primary election ballot. She defeated two off-the-line candidates, Rebecca Holloway and Wilhelmus Shrieks, by a massive margin. It’s not clear of Rodriguez had applied for the state post before the April filing deadline, although the New Jersey Glob has confirmed that she had been actively seeking employment.
Now the Camden County Democratic organization can pick someone to fill her unexpired term and a replacement candidate for the general election without the encumbrances of an election involving voters. Republicans have not won a countywide race in Camden since 1990.
Secrecy has not served Allen-McMillan well in the past. In May 2021, she was just one day away from being confirmed by the State Senate when the New Jersey Globe first reported that she had quietly moved from Montclair to Cedar Grove without notifying State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) that she now had senatorial courtesy over her nomination.
Thirteen months have now passed and Allen-McMillan has still not moved through the Senate.