Former Lt. Gov. Guadagno Fired from Nonprofit Over Politics, Report Says
Former Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is being let go from her position as CEO and president of the nonprofit food bank Fulfill Monmouth & Ocean County.
News of the separation was first reported Thursday by the New Jersey Globe, which cited unnamed sources.
The organization on Friday confirmed the news, saying the Gaudagno would remain in the position until May 5, after which she would return to private practice as an attorney.
"On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Fulfill, I would like to thank Kim for her service. We wish her the best in all future endeavors," Fulfill Board Chairman Lauren Holman said in a written statement.
The statement did not explain what led to Guadagno leaving, but the Globe reported that the board was unhappy that Guadagno, the state's first lieutenant governor who lost to Phil Murphy in the 2017 gubernatorial election, did not have Fulfill apply for CARES Act relief funds administered by Monmouth County.
There is also concern, according to the Globe story, that Guadagno's endorsement of state Sen. Serena DiMaso, who lost the county Republican Party's support in the June primary, could cost Fulfill future county funding.
Guadagno, who's led the organization for two years, tells a different story about the application, according to a letter posted by the Asbury Park Press. She wrote that Ocean County asked Fulfill to apply for CARES Act money, which resulted in a $355,258 grant last fall. When she asked Monmouth County to make the same request, Guadagno said she was told the same grant was not available.
Fulfill had a 40% increase in demand for food and a 250% increase in costs since Gov. Phil Murphy implemented lockdowns and shutdowns in March 2020 to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to Guadagno. Of the 215,000 adults and children served by Fulfill nearly half are in Monmouth County, Guadagno said.
The organization received $1.5 million in as part of a bill signed by Murphy this week appropriating $10 million in federal CARES Act funds to New Jersey food banks.