Accusations of Patronage, Incompetence at NJ Transit

A fired employee of NJ Transit has raised some alarming allegations as he departs the agency—going so far as to say he wouldn't ride the system.

1 minute read

August 30, 2017, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


NJ Transit

LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES / Shutterstock

Ryan Hutchins reports:

In bombshell testimony that’s likely to dog the Christie administration in its final months, NJ Transit’s fired chief compliance officer said Friday he was forced out with little explanation after his repeated attempts to raise questions about systemic issues at the troubled agency, which he called a “runaway train.”

Todd C. Barretta raised alarms about the state of NJ Transit—operators of the third largest commuter rail system in the United States in addition to bus and light rail lines—during testimony in front of state lawmakers. Barretta testified that NJ Transit "had failed to update important policies for more than a decade and kept key positions empty, or inappropriately staffed," adds Hutchins. Barretta also said that the agency is run with a culture of patronage hires.

Officials with NJ Transit, including Executive Director Steven Santoro, disputed Barretta's testimony. Hutchins includes soundbites from Santoro's response to the damning accusations. The article includes more details about the hearings that gave occasion for Barretta's testimony, and potential fallout for the accusations of patronage.

Friday, August 25, 2017 in Politico

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