Thursday, April 4, 2013

Feds probing Delaware River Port Authority spending

You assume that the tolls and fares you pay are used to support the four bridges and the PATCO commuter rail line connecting Philadelphia and South Jersey. But did you know that $500 million of your money was doled out by the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) over 15 years to underwrite museums sports stadiums, a concert hall, a cancer center, the Army-Navy football game, and other non-transportation projects?

Would you like to know why it was sent and who benefited? 
Apparently, the federal government shares your curiosity.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports today that a federal grand jury is investigating   
millions of dollars of politically connected ‘economic development” spending.
Paul Nussbaum writes:
"The DRPA's chief attorney and inspector general sent a memo to DRPA
employees last Thursday warning them to preserve all documents related to
the agency's economic development projects.
DRPA chief executive John Matheussen said Wednesday, "I can confirm that
we have been served with a subpoena by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.”
He declined to discuss the timing or scope of the subpoena issued last week
by the office of U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger of the eastern District of
Nussbaum also notes:
Last year, New Jersey state Comptroller Matthew Boxer issued a report critical of political cronyism and mismanagement at DRPA, saying that "in nearly every area we looked at, we found people who treated the DRPA like a personal ATM, from DRPA commissioners to private vendors to community organizations. People with connections at the DRPA were quick to put their hand out when dealing with the agency, and they generally were not disappointed when they did."

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