Brick Mayor John Ducey appointed his second chief financial officer for the township in as many months Monday night, this time recommending Maureen Laffey-Berg to the position.
The township council unanimously confirmed Laffey-Berg’s appointment. She will replace John Clifford, who was on the job just weeks before he resigned from the position, Ducey said.
“The person was appointed, and he has resigned,” said Ducey, of Clifford.
Clifford, who previously served as the CFO of Middle Township, Cape May County, and before that worked in the private sector on municipal accounting software, was appointed as Brick’s CFO in August, replacing Scott Pezarras, the longtime CFO and former business administrator who retired. But for reasons that were not publicly divulged, Clifford lasted just weeks in the position.
Clifford was appointed last month as CFO of the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority, replacing Frank Planko, who retired in August.
“He went on an interview there, and then he resigned from here,” said Ducey.
Clifford had been earning $100,000 annually in the township CFO position. His salary at the BTMUA is unclear, however a source said it was higher than the township position. Shorebeat is planning to file an Open Public Records Act request to obtain more detailed information. Clifford’s hiring came under scrutiny by some of the Ducey administration’s opponents last summer, after a previous bankruptcy on his part was unearthed. Council President Paul Mummolo said Tuesday night that officials knew about the bankruptcy.
Ducey said Laffey-Berg was considered for the CFO position the first time around. He said she had a “change of heart” in accepting the role this time.
“She has been the behind-the-scenes second CFO for the last eight years, and she is now stepping out into the center and we are very happy to have her,” said Ducey.
Pezarras was on hand to publicly recommend Laffey-Berg, his former deputy, for the position.
“I’ve known Maureen for over eight years, and she has served the town very well,” said Pezarras. “You couldn’t have picked a better person.”
“She is a very competent technician from the accounting standpoint, and I taught her everything I know,” he joked.
Laffey-Berg will earn $105,00 per year in the position, in which she will oversee the township’s approximately $100 million annual budget. Ducey said Clifford did not receive any payments as part of his exit.