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Report: Port Authority Execs Collect Hidden Pay

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Port Authority Bus Terminal - New York, NY - Aug 15, 2003 - Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Port Authority Bus Terminal (file/credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Just weeks after the Port Authority raised bridge and tunnel tolls and the Path train fare, a report has come out alleging agency executives have collected more than $2 million in extra compensation over two years than was publicly disclosed.

Some executives make up to $70,000 more annually than the salaries that have been released to the public, a review by The Record found.

About 650 non-union employees claiming perfect attendance were able to trade in vacation days for compensation under what’s known as the Amended Vacation Exchange.

The newspaper obtained the information about the undisclosed extra pay from the New York Comptroller’s Office after spending months requesting data from the bi-state agency.

Port Authority attorney Daniel Duffy declined to provide the additional information in September after he was told that the figures released by the agency did not include extra pay, The Record reported Tuesday.

Duffy’s letter cited a provision in the Port Authority’s Freedom of Information policy that allows the agency to keep information secret when it would be an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

Gov. Chris Christie, who oversees the agency with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, called the extra compensation ‘inappropriate and excessive.”

The salary add-ons include a 5 percent bonus, called Longevity I, given to three current “essential employees” who sought retirement after the 9/11 attacks but were asked to remain, Port Authority spokeswoman Jamie Loftus told the newspaper.

Longevity II gives employees with 25 years of service an extra 2 percent salary increase and increases of another 1 percent for every five additional years, she said.

Port Authority Chairman David Samson said he was not yet aware of the details of the payments aside from the unused vacation program. He called that program “anachronistic” and “inappropriate” and said it would be examined as part of an ongoing review of spending.

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