NJ hires more expensive chef for mansion where Murphy doesn’t live
PRINCETON — New Jersey taxpayers are paying more for the chef at the official governor's residence even though Gov. Phil Murphy and his family don't live there.
NJ.com examined public records to learn that a Red Bank restaurateur was recently hired at a $110,000 salary — that's about $45,000 more than the previous chef at Drumthwacket.
The state also hired the chef's wife to manage staff and events at the mansion, the report found.
A spokeswoman for Murphy told NJ.com that the new chef will be taking on greater responsibilities, such as planning events.
Murphy, a millionaire former Goldman Sachs executive, earns a $175,000 salary as governor.
Like his Republican predecessor, Murphy only uses the six-bedroom, 11,700-square-foot Greek Revival estate for official dinners and functions. Gov. Jon Corzine lived in the mansion part-time. Gov. Jim McGreevey was the last governor whose family moved into the home on Route 206.
Murphy's family lives on a 6-acre compound on the Navesink River waterfront in Middletown.
Drumthwacket, which has been undergoing extensive renovations, was built in 1835 by Gov. Charles Smith Olden. It was purchased by the state in 1966 and designated the official home of the governor in 1982.
The governors of New Jersey also have at their disposal a summer home on Island Beach State Park, which made headlines in 2017 when then-Gov. Christie was photographed enjoying the 10-mile beach — otherwise empty because the budget shutdown closed the beach and parks to the public during the Fourth of July weekend.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.