Former Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith is rumored to be headed to a new $104,000-a-year job as a confidential aide to the Hudson County Sheriff.
“I’ve heard that he will be coming,” Sheriff Frank X. Schillari told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m waiting for personnel to let me know. Nothing concrete. I heard it, same as you.”
County Executive Tom DeGise says “it’s possible” that Smith is headed to the sheriff’s department, but that he was “not involved” in that decision. DeGise said there are vacancies in Schillari’s office.
The potential hiring of Smith comes less than a month before the Bayonne mayoral election. Incumbent Jimmy Davis, who ousted Smith four years ago, is running against former Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell. O’Donnell was Smith’s closest political advisor and ally.
One source suggested that Smith could make a late endorsement of his formal rival, although that would clearly enhance conspiracy theories of a quid pro quo.
A Davis victory on May 8 could prevent Union City Mayor Brian Stack from picking up Bayonne votes in his race for Hudson County Democratic Chairman. Stack is seeking to oust DeGise next year, and Schillari – who is also up for re-election in 2018 – could face a primary opponent if Stack winds up filing full slates of candidates.