Freeholders Hire Former Judge as Director of Operations

Freeholders Hire Former Judge as Director of Operations

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Now retired Superior Court Judge Mike Donohue, pictured in 2018 swearing in Freeholder Will Morey, is going to be in charge of operations for Cape May County government.

By MADDY VITALE

Former Cape May County Superior Court Judge Mike Donohue will be the director of operations for Cape May County government following the retirement last week of longtime County Administrator Beth Bozzelli.

The freeholders approved a resolution Tuesday to hire Donohue, senior counsel at the Avalon-based law firm of Blaney & Karavan, in a professional services agreement. Donohue will handle complex issues in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak dealing with the health of county residents as well as the fallout to the tourism industry, Freeholder Director Gerald M. Thornton explained in an interview Wednesday.

In addition to handling the county administrator duties, Donohue will “assist in continuing Cape May County’s efforts to mitigate the effect of the novel 2019 coronavirus pandemic,” according to the resolution.

“I am very happy Mike Donohue is coming on board. He has the expertise and the background,” Thornton said. “He is very qualified for the position and right now, with his talents, he can take care of us. We are in an unprecedented crisis. We have to have someone here to take the reins and we will create new work policies to help protect our employees and the public.”

From left, Cape May County Administrative Aide Denis Brown, Freeholder Jeffrey Pierson, now retired County Administrator Beth Bozzelli, Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and Freeholder and Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio during a Chamber of Commerce function in 2018.

Bozzelli was formally appointed county administrator in 2018 and has been clerk of the freeholder board since 2012.

Prior to her appointment, Bozzelli was the executive director of the Cape May County Department of Aging and Disability Services, where she was initially hired in 1981. Deputy Clerk of the Freeholder Board Donna Doyle is currently the acting clerk.

Thornton said of Bozzelli’s retirement, “Beth will be very missed. We have worked together for 40 years. She was a wonderful asset and did an outstanding job.”