Republican Hamilton Councilwoman Kelly Yaede has been named the new mayor of Hamilton Township.
Yaede will replace Councilman Kevin Meara, who took over the job after the resignation of Republican John Bencivengo, found guilty last week on corruption charges.
Yaede was one of three candidates interviewed by the township council Thursday and received four of five votes including her own. Meara recused himself from the vote.
Councilman Ed Gore and Freeholder candidate David Maher were also submitted by the GOP municipal committee as candidates for the post.
Yaede will serve until next November when the township will hold a special election to fill the final two years of Bencivengo's term. Democrat Barbara Plumeri already has declared her intent to run for the job.
The township has been in turmoil since Bencivengo was found guilty last week of accepting a bribe in exchange for his promise to help a friend maintain a lucrative insurance contract with the township school board. Broker Marlies Ljuba testified that she had offered bribes to some school board members and township employees and paid for expensive vacations for others.
Bencivengo resigned the day after he was found guilty and Meara stepped into the role, immediately firing Business Administrator John Ricci in a move that other council members described as an abuse of power.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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