Governor Christie Demands Further Reform in Vetoes of Delaware River Port Authority Meeting Minutes

  • Thursday, September 2, 2010
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Trenton, NJ - Today, Governor Chris Christie continued to demand accountability and reform at the Delaware River Port Authority. The Governor exercised his veto authority over the August 18th and 25th meeting minutes of the DRPA Board of Commissioners because five reforms passed by the Commissioners at those meetings did not go far enough and did not comport with the directives stipulated in his July 29th and August 16th letters to the authority.

In his previous letters to the authority, Governor Christie called for wide-ranging, specific reforms to "restore the public's confidence in the authority," and specifically warned that he would veto any DRPA Board action that failed to conform to those standards.

"Doing only enough to get out of the headlines and away from the ethical cloud that has formed over the authority is simply not good enough. Attempts to pass off half measures, watered-down resolutions and double standards as real reform raises serious questions about the leadership and commitment to accountability at the authority," said Governor Christie. "The reforms I called for, along with Governor Rendell and numerous other public officials, represent only a baseline of reform needed at the authority. Failure to comply with these basic and common sense directives will not restore the tollpayers' confidence in the activity of the DRPA. The public will not accept activity in place of real action and neither will I. The board and leadership at DRPA must do better."

The Governor's first veto, for the minutes of the August 18th meeting, specifically addresses the following DRPA resolutions:

  • DRPA 10-040: Requiring the Authority to Create an Audit committee chaired by the Auditor General of Pennsylvania which will Oversee an Independent Finance performance and Forensic Audit Every Two Years
  • DRPA 10-041: Requiring all Meetings of the Authority Board to Be Open to the Public and Requiring the Authority to Follow the Requirements of the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law
  • DRPA 10-042: Resolution Implementing Post-Employment Restrictions Policy for Authority Commissioners, Officers and Directors
  • DRPA 10-064: Requiring the Authority to Hire Independent Counsel to Conduct a Legal Inquiry Into the "True-Up" Provisions of the Authority's Insurance Contracts

All other reforms adopted by the Authority at its August 18, 2010 meeting were granted early approval by Governor Christie and take effect immediately.

Following objections raised by the Governor's office after the August 18th meeting, the authority corrected resolutions 10-040 and 10-041 at its August 25th meeting. The Governor has approved those amended resolutions.

The Governor's second veto, for the minutes of the August 25th meeting, specifically addresses the following DRPA resolution:

  • DRPA 10-054: Establishing a Policy Prohibiting Officers and Employees from Performing Political Activities While on Duty for the Authority or Using Their Office for Political Purposes

All other reforms adopted by the Authority at its August 25, 2010 meeting were granted early approval by Governor Christie and take effect immediately.

More information on each of the vetoed resolutions can be found in the veto letters, attached to this email, submitted to the DRPA from Governor Christie on September 2, 2010.

Governor Christie's vetoes of the August 18th and 25th DRPA Board of Commissioners meeting minutes are the twelfth and thirteenth such actions taken against the activity of various state authorities and commissions since taking office. Meeting minutes are scrutinized by the Governor's Office Authorities Unit, headed by Director Deborah Gramiccioni, to flag potentially troublesome issues.

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Press Contact:
Michael Drewniak
Kevin Roberts
609-777-2600

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