NJ Comptroller Says Questionable DRPA Payments Went To Norcross Firm

By David Madden and Robin Rieger


TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) —
New Jersey’s state comptroller has reviewed the inner operations of the Delaware River Port Authority, saying his office has found a pattern of waste and mismanagement that cost the bi-state agency millions of dollars over a number of years.

The report delves deeper into the alleged abuses that have been mostly corrected and/or eliminated already — like free EZ Passes for employees and funding economic development programs outside the DRPA’s core mission.

And according to State Comptroller Matthew Boxer, who released his report into questionable DRPA practices on Thursday, the July increase to $5 tolls on Delaware River Port Authority bridges could have been delayed if the agency hadn’t wasted toll revenue.

And Boxer told CBS3 that, “The fact that tolls were being raised while this was going on is one of the troubling aspects for us.”

READ: DRPA Report

But there is a new concern, according to state comptroller Matthew Boxer: insurance contracts and commissions.

“There were a series of non-transparent and questionable payments between and among DRPA’s various insurance brokers that did not correspond to brokerage services that were actually provided,” Boxer told KYW Newsradio today.

In addition to $440 million in unrelated economic development money spent by the DRPA, toll money was donated to different causes, including over $59,000 to the Philadelphia Tribune for half page ads.

Other expenses included $15,000 on tickets for three galas and $5000 for lacrosse tickets and VIP passes.

“In many instances, commissioners were part of the problem. That’s not to say all the commissioners were,” said Boxer.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Tribune President and CEO Robert Bogle said he spent 14 years as a commissioner.

“I never asked anyone to place an ad in the Tribune. My sales staff might have,” said Bogle.

Some payments were funneled through one firm to another owned by South Jersey power broker George Norcross, even though Norcross’ firm did no work for the DRPA.

Many who use the bridges regularly are upset.

“If it’s not going to the bridge, then give it back,” said Shakera Dye, of Camden, who uses the Ben Franklin Bridge daily.

The DRPA says reform is taking place. Going forward, the agency says, it is adopting fixed-fee commissions and a competitive contract award process.

Read the NJ Comptroller’s Full Report on the DRPA (.pdf format)

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Comments

One Comment

  1. noname says:

    REPLACE ALL OF THOSE IN CHARGE AT THE DRPA!!! NOW! TO THE COMPTROLLER and the auditors – nice work! God bless you for staying at a job that has to be frustrating as h- to repeatedly finding these things, bring it to the light of day and the goveners and politicians that have the power to do something about it …ignore it. if this were a report of fraud and “mismanagement” found in Afghanistan or Iraq we’d be saying, “bomb the place, they’re all a bunch of no good corrupt people and things will never change” look at this, it’s us…it’s our leaders that are corrupt. if you do nothing about this you are just as bad as the corrupt theives at the DRPA. DO SOMETHING…NOW or shame on you and your family…generations from now your grandkids will be saying…wow. my family member was in the position to do something back in the day and did nothing…now i’m paying $22 to cross a crumbling bridge and property taxes are so high i can’t even buy a house. or would you rather them be saying…look how my family member stood up and brought an end to the fraud waste and abuse that was going on. This is your chance to do good, to make a change that will affect the future….DO IT!! DO THE RIGHT THING AND GRAB CONTROL OF THIS ORGANIZATION OF THIEVES.

  2. DONNAM.RILLING says:

    GOVEOR OF BOTH NJ AND PA
    NEED TO GET RID OF JOHN MATTTER. HE THE PRESIDENT . HE DOES NOT CARE HOW PEOPLE COMMUTER ARCOSS THE BRIDGES. & TAKE PATCO IN CENTER CITY.NJ
    THE PATCO TRAINS ALL NEED TO REPLACE -THE TRAINS ARE SO OLD THEY CAN REPAIR. ALL THE TRAIN CARD HOT IN THE SUMMER . THE WINDOW ‘S ARE TINT EITHER. IF THE DPRA STOP SPEND THERE MONEY STUIP THINGS . THEY ARE THE TRANSPORANT BUSINESS

  3. greg says:

    you know how much it costs to collect that $5 per car?? answer = $7. A total disgrace but just par for this city. oh… new property taxes?? what was that they said if we allowed the new casinos? yes, thats right…lower property taxes. I said all along, not only would they not go down, they would actually rise. And what’s up with that “temporary” 8% sales tax?? soon it will all be over.12/21/2012,,the mayans are correct!

  4. hmc says:

    I find this hilarious, they keep raising tolls and getting caught doing suspicious things with the DRPA funds. How about our lovely government steps in and DOES THE RIGHT THING FOR ONCE for the ppl they represent, some ppl drive that bridge every single day putting parts of ther salaries to maintain whatever irresponsible things they are doing. The money should be paying the salaries of the worker and the upkeep of the bridge and ONLY that, not all of these side things they fund and support, because they are getting tax breaks for using other ppl’s money to support whatever they choise.

    1. ripped-off PATCO commuter says:

      Which former politicians appointed these gougers to the board, and how did “they” benefit?

  5. news junkie says:

    Who will get the insurance work at the Inquirer when Mr. Norcross becomes one of the owners?

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