2 Sue Port Authority Over Revocation Of Lifetime Toll Passes

NEWARK, NJ (AP / WCB S880) – Two retired Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police officers who became lawyers have filed lawsuits because the agency revoked lifetime toll and parking passes.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

Thomas Westfield filed suit on behalf of himself and is seeking class-action status on behalf of more than 400 fellow Port Authority retirees.

Westfield tells The Star-Ledger of Newark he was told when he started working in 1971 that the passes were a lifetime benefit.

“This is a breach of promise. We were promised this benefit when we came on board with the Port Authority,” Westfield told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.

Michael Shuhala is suing on behalf of himself, claiming the privileges were revoked without due process. He’s now a municipal court judge in Cliffside Park.

The Port Authority eliminated free toll privileges in 2010 after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized toll-payer funded perks.

Responding to the lawsuit, the Port Authority says it stands by its decision.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • EnoughRegulation

    How about the writer practice JOURNALISM? How about doing some research and finding out if this “promise” was part of a contract or an “understanding?” Shoddy writing as is 99% of what is “news” these days.

  • babydriver


    No you know how the indians feel!!!

    Just like all them ‘Treaties’

  • Pay Up

    A lot of comments from people likely never ever worked at a good job with decent pay and benefits. If you are promised a benefit, its yours. That’s it. It is why they took the job than passing over other job opportunities. Everything else being said about who’s funding it, economy, blah blah, makes no sense. Its funny this lawsuit will cost more than the benefits will ever be even if it is excessively used.

  • RoyAllen

    Just one more reason the PA Tolls just keep going up.With The PA Police being one of the highest paid in the country,and overtime payments into the hundreds of thousands of dollars,it’s amazing how the Authority just keeps giving it away.I want a free pass too,where do I sign up.Maybe Gov. Christie can get me one………….then again he flies over the tolls ,in his taxpayer funded helicopter,to go to his kids sporting events,so what the heck does he care

  • bullett

    As two ex police officers for the NYNJPA, they should know that the Port has a team of highly trained lawyers on payroll that will take these two rookie lawyers for a whirlwind around the court room. A word of advice, make sure all your info to usage of your EZ Pass is correct. Any false information via USPS or e-mail is considered as wire fraud. If I were them, I’d give up on my law suit claim for a freebie EZ Pass, they will not win.

    • devino

      Wow, you’re just as dim as those Port lawyers you think so highly of if you think the Port will win this case. This benefit will be reinstated. What people like you fail to understand is in situations like this, past practice always wins out. If some loon in congress decided that we should no longer pay out Social Security to the elderly and stopped the practice, you’d be the first to say, Okay, I’m a sheep and whatever you say goes. This was a condition of employment. You can stop it because Gov Wide Body through a hissy fit.

  • joey fom B'hurst

    It was a courtesy given to you. You have no right to toll free service. It is not written on paper anywhere. The privilege was probably abused [e.g. daughter’s boyfriend uses the pass to cross the bridge in his commercial truck].

    If you loose this case, you should be required to pay back all the “free” crossings since you retired in 1991.

  • Kleetis MacAnurney

    “The Port Authority eliminated free toll privileges in 2010 after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized toll-payer funded perks.” This from the guy who flies in a NJ State Police chopper to his kid’s baseball game. I agree with ending ‘perks’ like these, but let’s start at the top of the pyramid and work down. If ‘Fatso’ wants to fly to his family functions, let him purchase and maintain a chopper out of his pocket and hire a pilot with his own money …

  • doc in NJ

    the same system which allows them to bring these frivolous claims will take years to settle the dispute. And the winner will most certainly be the state – NJ is broke!! Lawsuit or not, there’s no money. These state workers who got into their professions because of the “great benefits” are a dieing breed – in 10 years, it’ll be non-existent. The free lunches will be over.

  • mj

    you mean proctologists ?

  • mj

    ex cops… now lawyers …. need i say more ?

  • Art

    Another example of cops and lawyers being a burden on the system. What you didn’t get enough free donuts when you were a cop so now you are an attorney with the cry baby attitiude “I am entitled to it”. Kiss my… If you filed a suit to help the hard working people like the rest of the real world I would wish you luck. Nice way for these lawyers to waste more public funds. I hope these attorneys/cops lose and get disbarred.

  • jd

    Of course these guys are suing, Rick Santorum running for President accuse Blacks of getting Government help at all level but the majority of folks getting government help are caucasian with houses and luxury cars.Now they become lawyers it’s not enough to rip off the system. They are seeking the legal system to do it better.THE POLICE OR EX POLICE EXPECT EVERYTHING AS IF THEY ARE THE ONLY WORKING CLASS IN THE COUNTRY.YOU ARE RETIRED GO SUCK ON A PIECE OF BONE BUDDY.

    • AngelaW

      You’re leaving out the part where while blacks only comprise 13% of the population they comprise 33% of the welfare rolls, and the only cars I see the baby daddys’ driving are new Chargers or Escalades.

      • AngelaW ia an idiot

        “According to U.S. Census Bureau, about 28 percent of households that receive food stamps are African American, while 59 percent are white. According to the same report, about 78 percent of American households are white, while about 12 percent are black. (The overall population is 72.4 percent white and 12.6 percent black.)” White are not longer 72.4 percent of the population. See how these devils plya the numbers? Non-Hispanic white comprise 27.9 percent of the population. You people are a dying bred. Your evils and animal natures have you gone in the next 30 years. See ya. Wouldn’t want to be ya! HA HA HA!

  • Tommy

    These outrageous lifetime benefits are the reason why normal people can’t afford to live in NY City. This guy is collecting a fat pension from the PA and making money as a lawyer and he is complaining about paying tolls? Hey buddy, stop by my house, i’ll straighten you out.

  • Jimmy

    Cops that become lawyers. I bet they’re not too obnoxious.

  • Ken

    I’m sure Christie pays the toll when he uses one of the facilities ! Do as I say NOT as I do fits him very well, is the Governor using vacation time to stomp for Romney ? Lets not forget the State police helicopter to go to his kids little league game and his reply when asked why do your kids go to private school when your cutting aid to the public school system, he stated ” none of your business”.

  • DarthEVaderCheney

    Best of luck to the retired policemen!!!

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