Patronage: NJ Gov. Chris Christie Referred 50 Loyalists for High-Paying Port Authority Jobs
It increasingly looks like NJ Governor Chris Christie has been rewarding his loyal followers with cushy jobs at Port Authority, according to an extensive piece on NorthJersey, including Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, who makes close to $290,000 a year:
Sound like patronage? It does to Jameson W. Doig, a Princeton University professor who studies the agency and has chronicled its history.
"By and large, the Christie administration looks like it has made more of an effort to try to reward people who have been useful to him and his associates," Doig said. "Patronage has become a more serious problem."
But this is disputed by the Office of the Governor, which has made rooting out patronage a cardinal issue.
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said Friday that personnel changes at the agency "are ordinary, customary and necessary" when new governors take office.
The piece includes a comprehensive list of PA employees who were referred by Christie, their salaries, and their "qualifications," which range from old classmates to campaign donors. The information is not the kind that would normally be known, but it was released as part of a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by Hannah Shostack, an appointee of former Governor Corzine, who says she was "pushed out for political reasons," says the North Jersey story. It's potentially explosive; read the full piece here.