It’s hard to imagine that a personnel change at the top will make a fundamental difference at Port Authority if the culture of abuse of its authority and resources, directed from the inner offices of the New Jersey governor, continues. There’s scant evidence it will as long as the Port Authority is structured as it is, with great discretionary powers of both governors, and with one governor playing political games with an Authority budget larger than that of ten states.
Gov. Christie has just announced his choice to replace Port Authority Chair David Samson. It is John Degnan, 69.
“He is a person of unquestioned integrity.”
– Gov. Christie, discussing Degnan
The Port Authority is a subject of investigations at both the federal and state level, with the Authority enmeshed in both the Bridgegate and Hoboken scandals.
Degnan was vice-chair and COO of The Chubb Corporation, which has its HQ in Warren, NJ.. He retired 4 years ago, but continued in a consulting relationship with Chubb since then. From 1978-1981, he was state AG under Gov. Brendan Byrne, at 33 one of the youngest in New Jersey history to serve in that capacity. In 1981, he resigned that post to run in the Democratic primary for governor, finishing with 11% of the vote in a crowded field.
The Ledger has more on Degnan’s bio, and relationship with Gov. Christie.