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|1st Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey|
January 19, 2010 – January 16, 2018
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Sheila Oliver|
|33rd Secretary of State of New Jersey|
January 19, 2010 – January 16, 2018
|Preceded by||Nina Wells|
|Succeeded by||Tahesha Way|
|75th Sheriff of Monmouth County, New Jersey|
January 1, 2008 – January 19, 2010
|Preceded by||Joseph Oxley|
|Succeeded by||Shaun Golden|
Kimberly Ann McFadden
April 13, 1959
Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.
|Education||Ursinus College (BA)|
American University (JD)
Kimberly Ann Guadagno (Italian pronunciation: [ɡwaˈdaɲɲo]; née McFadden; born April 13, 1959) is an American attorney, politician, and former prosecutor who served as the first Lieutenant Governor and 33rd Secretary of State of New Jersey from 2010 to 2018.
Early life and education
Kim Guadagno was born Kimberly Ann McFadden in Waterloo, Iowa, the middle child of five of Mary Patricia "Pat" (Blevens) and Charles A. "Chuck" McFadden, Jr. Her father's job in sales had her living in many different places prior to going to college. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in 1980, and a J.D. degree in 1983 from the Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C.
Early legal work
Kim Guadagno is a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York and the District of New Jersey. She was also Assistant New Jersey Attorney General. Serving as deputy chief of the U.S. Attorney's office's corruption unit from 1994–98, Guadagno was responsible for the corruption prosecutions of former Essex County Executive Thomas D'Alessio (a Democrat) and of Somerset County Prosecutor Nicholas Bissell (a Republican). In 1994, in a case involving an executive of lottery contractor GTECH Corporation, the U.S. Attorney's Office was criticized by the judge overseeing the case for the disclosure of grand jury testimony in a sentencing report; the issue was never referred for further ethical or legal investigation. The lottery executive went to jail. The D'Alessio and Bissell cases were each recognized as one of the top federal prosecutions in the country at the time by the US Department of Justice.
She served as deputy director from 1998 to 2001 in the Division of Criminal Justice, where she supervised prosecutions of a $40 million financial fraud and of David L. Smith, creator of the "Melissa" computer worm. She taught legal research and writing at Rutgers School of Law–Newark from 2003 until Nov. 2009. In 2005 Kim Guadagno was elected to Monmouth Beach's non-partisan governing body as one of its three Walsh Act commissioners.
Monmouth County Sheriff
As Sheriff, Kim Guadagno pursued an aggressive agenda to fight crime, strengthen community outreach and enact innovative initiatives. Sheriff Guadagno served as the chief executive and administrative officer of Monmouth County's largest law enforcement agency with nearly 700 employees who serve in the Law Enforcement Division, the 1,328 bed maximum security correctional institution, the youth detention center, the Civil Division and the Public Safety and 911 Emergency Dispatch Center. During her time as Sheriff the office received the Department of Defense Pro Patria Award which recognizes employers for their extraordinary support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Under her supervision, the office also received the "Six Star" simultaneous accreditation of the law enforcement division, the correctional facility, correctional healthcare and youth detention center from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office was the first out of 3,088 Sheriff's Offices in the United States to receive the award. The department was one of 11 accepted nationwide into the federal program established under Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) which allowed corrections officers to check the immigration status of prisoners before they were released.
Sheriff Guadagno also expanded "Project Lifesaver," which uses bracelets with a radio-tracking device that allows Sheriff's Officers to locate persons with Alzheimer' or Autism who wander or become lost. Furthermore, she held a county-wide Safety Fair to highlight the expansion of "Project Lifesaver" and to promote the multiple other programs offered to the community including "Reach for Your Dreams" an anti-drug, anti-gang program; "Safe CARGO" which specially trains and certifies sheriff's officers to inspect and properly install child safety seats; and "Child ID Program" a child photo ID program that allows children and parents to carry identification in the event their child becomes lost. Finally, Sheriff Guadagno was the first Sheriff in New Jersey to institute a medical ID program to help ensure appropriate medical and law enforcement response to medically sensitive persons, such as children with special needs and encouraged autism training at the Police Academy.
Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State
On July 20, 2009, Republican gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie chose Guadagno as his running mate, in the first New Jersey election to include voting for a lieutenant governor. Guadagno was selected over a number of other Republican women, including State Senator Diane Allen and Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan. Guadagno was not a well known political figure statewide in October 2009. According to Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind Poll, Guadagno's name recognition in New Jersey was low with only 15% of voters reporting that they were aware of her. Out of the New Jersey voters that knew of Guadagno, 4% reported having a "very favorable" or "somewhat favorable" opinion while 3% reported that they had a "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" opinion of the prospective Lieutenant Governor. Christie and Guadagno defeated Jon Corzine and Loretta Weinberg on November 3, 2009.
Christie also appointed Guadagno New Jersey's Secretary of State and charged her with overseeing economic development efforts and the streamlining of government regulations. She was sworn in on January 19, 2010 as the first Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and the 33rd Secretary of State.
As the Secretary of State, Guadagno was responsible for overseeing artistic, cultural, and historical programs within New Jersey, as well as volunteerism and community service projects within the state. She supervised multiple programs, including the State Archives, the state's research facility and repository for public records of historical value and the Division of Travel and Tourism, which is charged with promoting New Jersey as a premier travel destination.
Additionally, Guadagno headed the Division of Elections and served as the Chief Elections Official and chair of the Board of State Canvassers, which certifies election results for federal and state office elections and public questions. She oversaw the Division of Programs which includes the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, the Office of Faith Based Initiatives and the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development.
Candidacy for governor
Kim Guadagno was the 2017 Republican gubernatorial nominee, having won approximately 46.8% of the popular vote in the June 2017 statewide primary. She lost to Democrat Phil Murphy on November 7, 2017, garnering 42.2% to Murphy's 55.7%.
In April 2018, Guadagno joined law firm Connell Foley as a partner working out of its Jersey City office.
In May of 2019, Guadagno became the CEO and President of Fulfill NJ (formerly known as The Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County).
Controversies, issues and positions
Arts Council allegations
In early 2011, Guadagno publicly criticized the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for its sloppy handling of public art projects, implying that $300,000 in state funds may have been fraudulently awarded. An official state investigation ended in December 2011 with no finding of wrongdoing. Two officials involved in the funding hired attorneys at their own expense.
Unfounded Allegations of pension fraud
While she was Monmouth County Sheriff, in 2008, Guadagno hired Michael Donovan, a retired investigator with the county prosecutor's office, as her chief of law enforcement. Under state laws on "double dipping", anyone holding such a position must forego any public pension they are otherwise eligible to receive as long as they hold that position, and resume making pension fund contributions from their pay. To allow Donovan to do so, the position of chief warrant officer, in charge of serving legal process and arrest warrants, exempt from the pension system, was created for him within the department.
However, Guadagno's organizational chart, memos to staff and a press release described Donovan as chief of law enforcement. While Guadagno later argued this saved taxpayers' money, those savings were more than offset by the additional money to pay Donovan's salary.
Guadagno later claimed that the state Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PFRS) had approved her actions. However, in 2011 the PFRS board, responding to allegations of pension fraud within sheriff's offices around the state, requested that the office of Attorney General Paula T. Dow review records of Donovan's hiring for possible "false and conflicting statements" by Guadagno, by then lieutenant governor. Instead of requesting a special prosecutor, Governor Christie referred the case to Attorney General's Division of Criminal Justice (DCJ), which a year later concluded the investigation, telling the PFRS board that it could take administrative action but not sharing its finding as to whether criminal conduct had occurred. An investigative reporter sued the state to release the records of the investigation; in early 2016 a court ordered DCJ to release some of those records but excluded a five-page document on Guadagno's role. In short, no action was taken in response to the allegations, by either the bi-partisan pension board or the Attorney General's Office and Mr. Donovan remains in the Sheriff's Office to this day – years after his initial appointment.
Hoboken Sandy funds
On January 18, 2014, Mayor of Hoboken Dawn Zimmer, appearing on MSNBC, claimed that Guadagno had pulled her aside in a supermarket parking lot and directly linked Hoboken's receipt of Sandy funding to the approval of a large proposed private development project that required substantial zoning changes to move forward. Mayor Zimmer then said that several days later Richard Constable, director of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs also insinuated to her that more Sandy relief funds would be released to the city if it approved the project in its northwest quadrant. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, has ties with Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chief David Samson, a Christie appointee and close Christie associate. On February 22 the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed members of the city's government and potential witnesses, who were instructed to preserve any evidence they might possess. They were also asked by the office of United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Paul Fishman, to not discuss the matter publicly. On January 31, the city acknowledged that it had received subpoenas from that office.
After a 16-month investigation the US Attorney for NJ concluded that Zimmer's claims were unfounded. In letters dated May 1, 2015 to Guadagno, Constable and Ferzan the US Attorney wrote: "Based on the evidence developed during the investigation and our review of applicable law, we have concluded that no further action is warranted in this matter. Accordingly, the investigation of these allegations have been closed."
In December 2010, Guadagno went on a scheduled vacation with her father who was dying of prostate cancer, while Governor Christie later decided to go with his family to Disney World. With both officials out of state, a blizzard hit New Jersey and Stephen M. Sweeney, the senate president and a Democrat, had to preside as acting governor to declare a state of emergency. Guadagno and Christie were criticized for both being out of state at the same time.
Guadagno moved to New Jersey in 1991 and has been a resident of Monmouth Beach, a borough in Monmouth County, since marrying Michael Guadagno in 1991. Her husband was a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division. He was appointed to the bench in 2005 by then-Governor Richard Codey, and elevated to the Appellate Division by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in 2012. The Guadagnos have three sons.
Judge Guadagno submitted his letter of resignation on January 26, 2017 in advance of reaching the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 later that year. Because Lieutenant Governor Guadagno is also Secretary of State and thereby receives resignation and retirement letters of New Jersey judges, Judge Guadagno's resignation letter was addressed to his wife in her personal as well as official capacity, referred her then-prospective run for the post of Governor, and was signed "your loving husband".
The Guadagnos have three sons. One of the three, Kevin, is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is an F-16 fighter pilot.
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| Sheriff of Monmouth County
|New office|| Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
| Secretary of State of New Jersey
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of New Jersey