NJ Politics Digest: Port Authority Rebukes Caren Turner for Video Incident

Kevin O'Toole.

Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. Kevin OToole via Facebook

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey doesn’t have the best of reputations following the Bridgegate scandal and former Chairman David Samson using his position to pressure United Airlines into scheduling flights so he could conveniently fly to his vacation home.

So the bi-state agency wasted no time in slapping down Caren Turner when the world saw the video of the then-commissioner’s antics during a Tenafly traffic stop.

On Thursday, Port Authority officials issued a stinging rebuke to Turner, censuring her for alleged ethics violations and referring the incident to the state Ethics Commission, according to news reports.

Turner resigned her position at the Port Authority after police shared a dashcam video of the March 31 incident with agency officials.

In the video, which has since gone viral, Turner berates officers after they pulled over and impounded a car in which her daughter was a passenger, flashes her Port Authority badge, demands they call her “commissioner” and curses at them when she doesn’t get her way.

Turner has since issued a statement apologizing for her conduct, denying she tried to use her position to influence events and claiming she did not violate the Port Authority’s code of ethics. The 60-year-old Democratic lobbyist also advised police to work on their tone and de-escalation skills.

But Port Authority officials were not interested in taking Turner’s side. In addition to citing her for what they said were ethics rules violations, Port Authority officials also praised Tenafly police for their reaction to Turner’s tirade.

“Commissioner Turner’s conduct was outrageous and profoundly disturbing and represented a betrayal of the public trust,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole, according to NJ.com.

Quote of the Day: “I found it most useful [in] trying to get your grandchildren to go to bed.” — Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, on the gold badges issued to commissioners and flashed by ex-Commissioner Caren Turner during a now infamous traffic stop.

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NJ Politics Digest: Port Authority Rebukes Caren Turner for Video Incident