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Weinberg: Port Authority Culture Leaves ‘Great Deal to be Desired’

3-19-14

Members of the Port Authority met Wednesday and Port Authority board member David Steiner said that media reports covering the George Washington Bridge lane closures lacked an appreciation toward the agency for the work being done. Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37) told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that it sounds like the New Jersey commissioners are starting to become aware that they represent New Jersey and the state’s side of the lane closure issue, but there is still work to be done.

“All due respect, the culture that has developed there, the business procedures that have developed there leave a great deal to be desired,” said Weinberg. “I have yet to hear anything official from any one of the Port Authority commissioners, either New York or New Jersey, and though I’m appreciative of any work that is put in on behalf go the residents, I’m not going to lose any sleep over how hard they work.”

As the investigations into the George Washington Bridge lane closures continue, Bill Stepien’s attorney Kevin Marino recently said that he felt that documents and emails surrounding the lane closures were released illegally. Weinberg said that some irony is attached to Marino’s comments because he had requested the extra emails and had sent a letter to the attorney for the Special Committee requesting to see the documents.

“I’m sorry if Mr. Marino is unhappy but in fact is these emails just add to the fact that we need to find out from Mr. Stepien in particular, in this particular case, what led up to, what were the prior discussions that led up to the kinds of emails that have been released,” Weinberg said.

During Gov. Chris Christie’s town hall meeting Tuesday, an individual had been seen taking pictures of demonstrators that had been expelled from the town hall meeting and that he was reportedly a member of the State Police. Weinberg called it a “Nixonian tactic” and said that if he had not been a member of the State Police, the State Police would have arrested him for impersonating an officer.

“Since they didn’t deny that he was working for them, my assumption is that he was,” Weinberg said. “If he wasn’t, I would expect the State Police to come out and find out who he was and why someone was masquerading as an undercover State Police officer.”

According to Weinberg, there might have been a reason for the extra security at the town hall meeting, but that there is no legitimate reason for someone to have taken photos of the demonstrators.