Announcement On Port Authority Reforms Canceled
FORT LEE, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The cancellation of an event to announce proposed reform measures at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has left some scratching their heads.
A Friday news conference in Fort Lee, New Jersey, was scrapped little more than an hour before it was to take place.
Fort Lee is the site of massive traffic jams last fall after a Port Authority official and an aide to Gov. Chris Christie engineered George Washington Bridge approach lane closures, apparently for political retribution.
State Sen. Bob Gordon and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle said in a statement it was postponed so that lawmakers can continue work on legislation. Both states have to pass identical legislation for it to be binding on the authority.
A spokesman for Assemblyman John Wisniewski, co-chair of the committee investigating the lane closings, says he wasn’t consulted in the planning of the news conference.
The Port Authority also has come under scrutiny for its hiring practices, governance and alleged conflicts of interest.
It also has come under criticism for considering plans to commit more than $1 billion as a loan guarantee to back developer Larry Silverstein’s plan to rebuild 3 World Trade Center.
The agency has formed its own ethics committee. Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have created a bistate panel to look at reforms. Both New York and New Jersey have to pass identical legislation for it to be binding for the Port Authority.
In April, Sen. Charles Schumer outlined his plan to reform the Port Authority through an Act of Congress.
Schumer said the agency has drifted from its core mission of operating airports, seaports, bridges, tunnels. He also said the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal exposed dysfunction in the agency.
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