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The WSJ reports on the newly formed “Oversight Committee” for the NJ NY Port Authority, that was created after the Governor Christie “Bridegate” scandal.
The article states, “The authority launched a new “special oversight committee” last month in the wake of the George Washington Bridge scandal and questions about how members of the agency’s board of commissioners disclose their business relationships…. Mr. Samson was in the spotlight again this month when it emerged that Manhattan federal prosecutors subpoenaed Port Authority records related to his business interests, before ceding to federal investigators with the New Jersey U.S. attorney’s office….
Authority experts and some current and former officials said significant changes would come only if the agency’s staff and executives could resist calls from their respective state capitals to push their own local interests before considering the needs of the region…..
The pressures from Trenton and Albany create “independent lines of power” within the Port Authority, Commissioner William “Pat” Schuber said at the first meeting of the oversight committee in February…
New York Mayors Ed Koch and Rudolph Giuliani sought to wrest control of La Guardia and John F. Kennedy International airports from the authority, Mr. Doig noted. In the 1940s, New Jersey lawmakers considered greater authority over bridge and tunnel tolls rates but took no formal action.”
Less publicized are the scandals emanating from another state “authority”: The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA). Since 2010, there have been three different presidents of the BPCA serving under three different chairman, all appointed by the governors of New York, at the time. The most recent president, Shari Hyman, began day one of her tenure with a scandal, being the wife of the head of the state ethics oversight agency, JCOPE, thereby posing conflicts of interest to ongoing JCOPE investigations into the BPCA.
There have been calls for the entire elimination of the BPCA, and to turn the land over to the city. Short of that, an oversight committee, similar to the one created for the Port Authority, seems prudent.