Todd Caliguire is gone from his $174,00-a-year job at the North Jersey District Water Supply Commission.
The former Republican gubernatorial candidate, who survived the first 30 months of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration, departed the utilities agency two weeks ago, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Tim Eustace left his 38th district Assembly seat in April 2018 to become the NJDWC deputy executive director – a new position at the same $174,000 salary.
About a month later, Eustace and Caliguire, a political ally of Gov. Chris Christie, switched jobs.
As deputy executive director, Caliguire remained one of the highest-paid employees of the Murphy administration.
His replacement is Lloyd Naideck, a former Chief of Staff to Assemblyman John McKeon who had been serving as director of government affairs at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Naideck will earn $138,000– the same as he was paid at the DEP as a member of Commissioner Catherine McCabe’s senior leadership team.
Caliguire’s exit appeared to have been timed with his qualification for a full state pension, and his survival in a high-paying most for more than two years evinces a belief among many political insiders that some sort of agreement was forged to let him stay.
Caliguire had more than a decade in the state pension system — he worked as an assistant counsel to Gov. Tom Kean from 1982 to 1987 and spent six years a Bergen County freeholder — but records show that he cashed out at some point. He rejoined the state employee retirement system on July 1, 2012 after Christie appointed him to the State Commission of Investigation.
One a rising star in North Jersey politics, the 65-year-old Caliguire became a perennial candidate in the tail end of his career.
He lost two race for state senate, one for county executive, and one for governor – Caliguire finished seventh in a field of seven, with 2.4% of the vote.
Some Christie loyalists survived for a little while as a way to ease the transition.
When Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto became the president/CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, his predecessor, Wayne Hasenbalg, stayed on at the same salary. By the end of last year, he was gone.
Charles McKenna lasted eight months at the embattled New Jersey Schools Development Authority, and Michele Brown lasted four months at Choose New Jersey.
Brown still holds one plumb post, a $76,000-a-year, part-time gig on the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors.
Murphy has nominated Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano to replace her.