The chairman of the board of trustees for the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is mired in controversy at another hospital in Hackensack, N.J., where he has resigned his position.

John P. Ferguson, the longtime president and chief executive officer at the Hackensack University Medical Center, stepped down last week amid an unfolding scandal and federal corruption investigation.

Widely credited with transforming the New Jersey medical center from a relatively small community hospital to a world-renowned medical center and one of the largest employers in the state of New Jersey, Mr. Ferguson resigned following the revelation that he had hired a former state senator for a low-show job, reportedly in exchange for steering millions of dollars in grants to the medical center. According to The Bergen County Record, which has covered the story extensively, former state Sen. Joseph Coniglio, a retired plumber from Paramus, N.J., was convicted on six counts of federal corruption. The newspaper reported that Mr. Ferguson did not testify and was not charged, but quoted the U.S. attorney’s closing remarks at trial: “Coniglio was hired by the hospital CEO without a job for him to fill.”

On May 31 the newspaper reported that the hospital board of governors had accepted Mr. Ferguson’s resignation.

Mr. Ferguson, who owns a summer home in West Tisbury and is a generous contributor to the Vineyard hospital, has been chairman of the board of trustees, an unpaid position, since 2002. He took the helm on the hospital board following a turbulent period with hospital finances and turnover in senior management. He has quietly presided over a period of increasing stability and rapid growth at the hospital since then, including a successful $50 million capital building campaign, the largest capital campaign in the history of the Island.

A new hospital is midway through construction and is expected to be complete by 2010.

Mr. Ferguson also steered the Vineyard hospital through the end of 80 years of independence as a cottage hospital. Two and a half years ago the hospital joined Partners Health Care, the company that owns Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, as an affiliate, along with the Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Partners gave the hospital $5 million as part of the deal, which helped complete the capital campaign.

Mr. Ferguson could not be reached for comment yesterday.