Governor Paterson’s recently departed M.T.A. chairman has apparently been offered a consolation prize: a seat on the Port Authority board.
Earlier this month, the governor’s office passed along the nomination of H. Dale Hemmerdinger to the State Senate, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats confirmed, clearing the way for the real estate magnate to quickly re-join New York’s world of public authorities.
Mr. Hemmerdinger’s first real foray into public service came in June 2007, when Eliot Spitzer handed the top seat at the M.T.A. to the wealthy political donor and Citizens Budget Commission chairman. Like many put on these boards, he has real estate in his blood—his family has been in the industry for more than 80 years—and has also seen his share of failures this bust cycle (he was involved in a foreclosure problem at a mall his family owned, until this winter, in Queens).
He left the M.T.A. in the summer as Governor Paterson rejiggered the agency’s top jobs, melding together Mr. Hemmerdinger’s seat with that of the executive director, usually a transit professional (which Mr. Hemmerdinger is not).
As for the Port Authority, that board often plays host to many a campaign donor, budding politicians in search of a placeholder, and onetime political heavyweights who have passed their peaks.
Mr. Hemmerdinger did not respond to requests for comment.