Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marcos Vigil has officially been tapped to take over as the city director of Housing, Economics, Development and Commerce (HEDC), Mayor Steven Fulop announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“During the past three years, Deputy Mayor Vigil has proven his commitment to Jersey City and his experience in the areas of housing and economic development,” Fulop said in a statement.
“He has played a major role in helping to bring development away from the waterfront,
in building more affordable housing, and in prioritizing sustainable growth. I thank him for his service to the people of Jersey City in this capacity, and I am confident in his ability to lead HEDC with the same dedication, understanding, and expertise.”
Named deputy mayor in early 2015, Vigil was tasked with overseeing economic development and real estate, and developing strategies for sustainable development and affordable housing.
Additionally, he also represents the city as a member of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities’ Legislative Committee, as well as the mayor’s Alternate Trustee for the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
“I’m honored by the confidence Mayor Fulop has shown in me and the opportunity to continue to move his progressive and inclusive agenda forward on the economic development front,” Vigil said in the same statement.
“I know from my interaction with staff at the Department that we have the most committed professionals and public servants. Together we will work to provide the best services to our constituents while looking to improve the quality of life for all residents throughout Jersey City.”
Jersey City spokeswoman Hannah Peterson said that while Vigil will retain the title of deputy mayor, but will only get paid as the head of the HEDC.
According to public records, ex-HEDC Director Anthony Cruz earned a salary of $117,624 in 2016.
When asked if he had been demoted, fired or transferred, Peterson responded “he is no longer with the city.”
A source, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said Cruz’s last day with the department was December 15th. It was not clear if he was fired or resigned.
Prior to joining the Fulop administration, Vigil served as deputy secretary of state of New York during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) first term, leading and managing the operations for its Divisions of Consumer Protection, Licensing Services, Corporations, Cemeteries and the NYS Athletic Commission.
Late last year, Fulop said he would be naming all of his new directors in the first week of his second term. Yesterday, the mayor announced 30-year department veteran Michael Kelly would be the new police chief.
About a month ago, Hudson County View exclusively reported that Vigil would be replacing Cruz as the head of the HEDC.
Cruz was involved with the scandal associated with the now infamous “bid rig” recording, where former Fulop chief of staff and ex-local Democratic party chair Shawn “Sully” Thomas Sullivan allegedly tried to steer an energy consulting contract to a particular firm.
While no one was ever criminally charged for the incident, Cruz was accused in sworn court testimony of also trying to help the company, Good Energy, obtain the bid by circumventing a request for proposals process.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information.