The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has put a job for a Hudson County Democratic official on hold pending an internal review of the path that led to his hiring.
Hudson sources said today that West New York Democratic Municipal Chairman Jonathan Castañeda was told by the agency that his offer is being delayed until staff reviews the hiring process, including questions of who recommended him for the job.
Reached by the New Jersey Globe, Castañeda declined to comment on his job as a planner in the Ports Department. He said earlier this week that he applied for a publicly advertised position and went through an extensive interview process. But Castañeda was unable to name any of the individuals he interviewed with, the Human Resources representative that offered him the job, or the name of the person who signed his offer letter. But he did say that he was well-qualified for the position he was offered, although he could not recall what that position was.
Castañeda resigned on Monday as chief of staff to West New York Mayor Felix Roque, just as Roque filed a slate of candidates for 58 Democratic County Committee seats in the June Democratic primary against a full slate filed by a potential 2019 rival, Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo. Roque is supporting Union City Mayor/State Sen. Brian Stack for Hudson County Democratic Chairman and has endorsed Stack’s effort to replace Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise next year.
On Monday, Castañeda declined to answer specific questions regarding his role in the upcoming battle for control of the local Democratic Party and would not say if he supported Stack for county chairman.
He did say that the political turmoil in West New York, related to the Hudson County warette was “irrelevant.”
Castañeda has been described as very close to Rep. Albio Sires (D-West New York), as well as Roque.