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Vainieri Huttle Says Latest Ruling Denying Whistle Blower Protections for Port Authority Employee Underscores Need for New Reforms

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle on Tuesday said the latest ruling by a state Superior Court judge underscores the need to pass new Port Authority reform legislation to ensure that whistle blower protections are in place for employees who attempt to report wrongdoing.

In denying the former Port Authority employee whistle blower protection, the judge cited the fact that existing New Jersey and New York laws are not identical, a requirement for any laws governing the bi-state agency.

Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) noted that had governors Christie and Cuomo not vetoed legislation (A-3417) she sponsored last year, whistle blower protections would now be in place for Port Authority employees.

“It’s bad enough that the Port Authority continues to have bad actors, but it’s only made worse by the lack of whistle blower protections in place for dedicated public servants willing to put their jobs on the line to report unethical or improper behavior.

“When we presented Gov. Christie with the opportunity, he declined to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability at the Port Authority. The lack of concern for reforming this troubled agency and the hush-hush manner in which the veto was issued was disturbing then and it’s all the more disconcerting now that we’re seeing its impact play out.

“I’m working with my colleagues in New Jersey and New York to introduce another transparency and accountability bill, one that will once again include whistle blower protections and hopefully address any concerns from last time. I hope the governor will make a different choice when this legislation gets to his desk, especially for the sake of Port Authority employees wishing to do the right thing,” said Vainieri Huttle.