Port Authority mishandles job swap hindering Christie cabinet swap

TRENTON – On Monday, Gov. Chris Christie announced that Attorney General Paula Dow was stepping down to take a job at the Port Authority, but the job wasn’t vacant, a well-informed source told PolitickerNJ today.

Chris Hartwyk, the first deputy counsel at the Port Authority, has not stepped down from the position Dow was announced to be taking. According to a source close to the attorney, Hartwyk is not planning an exit on Jan. 1 when Christie said Dow would be moving in to assist in reorganization of the underfire interstate agency.

Hartwyk, as the New York Times first reported this week, is a cousin of state Sen. Dick Codey (D-27), of Roseland, and was one in a series of moves that observers believe was a political hit on the former governor.

The source said Port Authority Deputy Exec. Director Bill Baroni approached Hartwyk in an attempt to have him step down from his position. But Hartwyk never agreed, the source said, and short of for-cause removal with consent from the board, Hartwyk isn’t able to be removed from his position.

“He isn’t going anywhere,” the source said, also claiming the agency issued an unauthorized release with comments from the attorney that Hartwyk never said.

Appraised of the allegations, Port Authority officials did not return calls for comment today. The Governor’s Office also declined comment.

Port Authority mishandles job swap hindering Christie cabinet swap