Jersey Joe, Citing DRPA, Stands Up for South Jersey

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

The Ben Franklin Bridge
The Ben Franklin Bridge

While the media establishment and political elite continue to focus on the relatively minor George Washington Bridge storyline, Save Jerseyans, the situation at our state’s southern transportation pole continues to deteriorate.

Waning public support for the Bridgegate witch hunt should be Trenton’s first clue that it’s time to adjust its focus. But it goes deeper than mere fairness. At this point, ignoring what’s happening in Camden County is willful blindness. They’re aiding and abetting lawlessness. There’s no other explanation and it’s inexcusable.

Sadly, one of the few New Jersey leaders standing up for South Jersey and taxpayers statewide where the notoriously corrupt Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) is concerned is a veteran Republican state senator from Morris County.

“The escalating turmoil and troubles at the Delaware River Port Authority clearly show the need for New Jersey’s Senate to join Pennsylvania’s in unanimously passing bipartisan-supported reform bill S-2013,” Senator ‘Jersey Joe’ Pennacchio said in a statement released Thursday. “It’s mind boggling that we could come together here in New Jersey to unanimously pass needed reforms for the similarly troubled Port Authority of New York and New Jersey yet completely fail to act on legislation to bring the same level of accountability and trust to the DRPA.”

Pennsylvania’s State Senate voted 50-0 to approve an identical measure, S-2013, on Wednesday. Pennacchio has worked with stakeholders on both sides of the Delaware River to enact New Jersey’s version.

The need is dire. 

Get this: DRPA’s first inspector general just got up and QUIT his role as corruption-buster in chief for the agency after he was, in his words, met with interference from a “hostile” DRPA leadership. In his letter of resignation, the inspector general warned that “the independence of the IG and the [office of the inspector general] has been challenged and efforts undertaken to limit, if not eliminate, that independence.”

Talk about a red flag! And keep in mind, in case you missed it, the feds are already investigating down here, too, despite an almost complete blackout from the New Jersey media. Subpoenas even went out late last year to parties including the Senate President’s brother, Richard Sweeney. Is it any wonder why Democrats want to drag out their hard look at the G.W. Bridge while ignoring the Ben Franklin, Walt Whitman, Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry Bridge?

DRPA corruption, Watershedgate, and a host of Democrat scandals go uninvestigated with the Democrat Part in dominant control of the state legislature.

Pennacchio says it’s time for the double-standard to end.

“The inspector general’s resignation is especially troubling, as DRPA officials pretend that nothing needs to be done to prevent mismanagement of transit resources, waste, fraud and abuse,” Pennacchio continued. “The resignation further illustrates internal chaos at the DRPA and that the agency simply cannot police itself, as the very person hired to reform the agency has been squelched by the board. It’s clear, just as my colleagues stated in passing the reforms for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, we need to pass reform legislation holding the DRPA eternally transparent and accountable, so commuters and taxpayers can have assurance that past mistakes and waste won’t be repeated.”


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