Assembly committee seeks supboena power over Port Authority

Assembly committee seeks supboena power over Port Authority

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2012, 10:18 PM
A panel of state lawmakers is seeking subpoena power over the Port Authority, two weeks after the agency’s officials skipped an invitation to testify in Trenton.

The special committee would have the rare power to compel Port Authority officials to appear and to hand over agency documents if a proposed resolution is passed by a majority of the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

“There seems to be a call on both sides of the river for fundamental reform at the Port Authority,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, chairman of the Transportation Committee, which is considering several bills related to the agency and would have the subpoena power. “We need to understand how it works, how decisions are made, and in order to do that, we need questions answered.”

“So far, the track record is not good,” he added.

The bills before the committee would give legislators more control over the Port Authority and would require a series of public hearings before future toll hikes on the agency’s bridges and tunnels. Governor Christie, who steers the agency jointly with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has said some of the proposed laws are politically-motivated. The Port Authority says it is already putting reforms into place.

The resolution giving the Assembly Transportation Committee subpoena power is sponsored by Democrats and Republican Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll of Morris Plains.

Two weeks ago, Port Authority officials declined to send a representative in response to the Transportation Committee’s invitation. Wisniewski said the committee wants to question Port Authority officials about where toll money is going and about reports of the agency hiring dozens of Christie loyalists.

The Port Authority declined to comment on the proposal Friday.

But the authority’s executive director, Pat Foye, told reporters last week that if lawmakers invited Port Authority officials to Trenton again, a representative would attend.


What is this about?

Does this have anything to do with 9/11?

I second that Paul

What does this have to do with the 9/11 investigation?

I think the post shows that

the Port Authority has a reputation for not operating transparently, and it also suggests the possibility of obtaining records from them on other matters in the future via subpoena.