Christie: We’re righting the shipwreck that is the Port Authority

WESTFIELD – Tuesday, a bi-state audit was released on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which found

WESTFIELD – Tuesday, a bi-state audit was released on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey which found a “challenged and dysfunctional” bureaucracy that “obscured full awareness of billions of dollars in exposure.”

Sign Up For Our Daily Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to our <a rel="noreferrer" href="http://observermedia.com/terms">terms of service</a> and acknowledge we may use your information to send you emails, product samples, and promotions on this website and other properties. You can opt out anytime.

See all of our newsletters

The audit was ordered by Govs. Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo, and today Christie said his administration is righting the ship, not causing the shipwreck.

“We are now turning the page in this chapter,” he said, with the audit to be used as a “roadmap”  to recovery.

Christie’s top appointments at the interstate agency, former state Sen. Bill Baroni and former Attorney General David Samson, took over as deputy executive director in March 2010 and board chairman in January 2011, respectively. Christie said they were not in a position, due to rank or timing, to address the dysfunction described in the report.

“David’s not even been there a year, yet…This audit happened because of the leadership of Chairman Samson,” he said, along with that of Cuomo and himself.

“I think it’s unfair to criticize Sen. Baroni,” he added. “Bill Baroni worked under an executive director that that report finds is a failure.”

The audit claimed cost at the World Trade Center ballooned by $4 billion (35 percent) in four years under former Executive Director Christopher Ward, who has since been replaced by Cuomo. Christie said those increased costs likely will not be recouped.

“I’m sure there are things we can do to rein things in a little bit,” he said, but, “It is what it is.” He also said project funds from New York City and the 9/11 Memorial Foundation were still outstanding, but will help cost relief at some point. “That would help our cash flow situation as well,” he said.

Christie: We’re righting the shipwreck that is the Port Authority