Municipal Government

Port Authority Chair Apologizes to GWB Travelers

February 20, 2014
By Marc Bussanich 

New York, NY—The chair of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson, apologized to motorists for lane closures on the George Washington Bridge at a board meeting of commissioners. Following the meeting, Pat Foye and Deborah Gramiccioni, executive and deputy executive directors, respectively, fielded questions from reporters. Video

“On behalf of the board commissioners, we are deeply sorry for the inconvenience caused to our travelers,” said Samson.

Samson has become embroiled in the September, 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closures when it was learned that his law firm, Wolf & Samson, represented a developer that benefited from a $75,000 Port Authority redevelopment study in 2010, which Samson voted on to approve.

The commissioners gathered at Port Authority’s offices near Union Square to approve a 10-year, $27.6 billion capital plan that includes 500 projects through 2023.

But all questions after the meeting and during the press conference were focused on the bridge scandal. As expected, Samson didn’t comment as he said at the onset of the meeting that the public will soon find out all the facts regarding the scandal.

“While I would like to comment more specifically about some of the outstanding issues, I recognize there are established efforts to examine the events that occurred. I defer to these procedures and I trust when the facts unfold and they will unfold the public will have a complete picture. This will conclude any comments I will make today to the public and the media,” said Samson.

Deborah Gramiccioni and Patrick Foye take questions after Port Authority commissioner meeting.

Deborah Gramiccioni and Patrick Foye take questions after Port Authority commissioner meeting.

The Port Authority’s executive director, Patrick Foye, and deputy executive director, Deborah Gramiccioni (the New Jersey representative replacing the resigned Bill Baroni), took questions. MSNBC reporter Steve Kornacki asked Foye about David Wildstein’s employment with the Port Authority, the executive who ordered the bridge land closures in September.

Kornacki asked what exactly was Wildstein’s job if there was no official job description for the job title of director of interstate capital projects.

“I understood he was primarily interested in politics,” responded Foye.

Follow Marc on Twitter marc@laborpress.org  

February 20, 2014

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