Codey introduces Port bill to avoid conflicts and encourage transparency
TRENTON — State Sen. Richard Codey introduced disclosure legislation intended to end conflicts of interest, encourage whistle blowing, and invite public input involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and other bi-state agencies.
Codey’s legislation, introduced on Monday, comes amid a flurry of reform proposals prompted by revelations that September’s George Washington Bridge lane closures were carried out by political appointees of Gov. Chris Christie for what was widely suspected to be a political retribution against Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor. A report by a law firm hired by Christie’s office asserted there was no evidence that the governor had advance knowledge of the closures.
Under the Codey legislation, agency board members and executives would be required to disclose whether they or family members have a financial interest in any company doing business with the agency, and would prohibit their participation in related discussions or votes when conflicts arise.
Prosecutors are now looking into whether former Port Authority board members were in conflict involving agency actions that benefited their private firms or clients. (Strunsky/Star-Ledger)