WISNIEWSKI STATEMENT ON PORT AUTHORITY DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BILL BARONI’S PRESS COMMENTS

(TRENTON) – Assembly Deputy Speaker and Transportation Committee Chair John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) today issued the following statement concerning Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni’s comments in a Star Ledger report regarding an agency “shakedown”:

“I am outraged that the Port Authority’s Deputy Executive Director, who makes nearly $300,000 a year from toll payers, would refer to having to answer questions about well-documented mismanagement at his agency as a ‘shakedown.’

No amount of political mudslinging will keep me from doing the job I was elected to do. The Port Authority has to account to the public as to why it has approved 50% toll and fare hikes, misled the public about the justification for those hikes and been called a ‘challenged and dysfunctional organization suffering from a lack of consistent leadership’ by external auditors.

Mr. Baroni’s attack is a new low from the Chris Christie character assassination team, which has repeatedly shown that truth is an expendable commodity in pursuit of its vendetta against anyone willing to question its decisions or its management. Mr. Baroni’s time would be better spent answering the legitimate questions I’ve posed regarding his agency and if he truly believes that he was involved in a shakedown, he should be having discussions with law enforcement rather than cavalierly making unsubstantiated charges in the press.”