Port Authority Chief Warned That Bridge Lane Closures Were Illegal

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye wrote an impassioned email to the general manager of the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 13, arguing that lane closures that spiraled into a major scandal this week were illegal.

Foye’s email, addressed to Robert Durando and other Port Authority officials, fumed that he was not included in the decision, which he said was damaging the public safety and the economy. He ordered that it be reversed.

“This hasty and ill-advised decision has resulted in delays to emergency vehicles. I pray that no life has been lost or trip of a hospital- or hospice-bound patient delayed,” he wrote. He added: “I believe this hasty and ill-advised decision violates Federal Law and the laws of both States.”

“To be clear,” Foye declared, “I will get to the bottom of this abusive decision which violates everything this agency stands for; I intend to learn how PA process was wrongfully subverted and the public interest damaged to say nothing of the credibility of this agency.”

A mere minutes later, Durando responded, “We have restored the 3 toll lanes to Ft. Lee.”

The emails, portions of which were first reported on locally last month, were part of a large set of documents released Friday by the New Jersey legislature as part of its investigation into the scandal, which implicates Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) top aides.

The Port Authority is jointly run by New York and New Jersey. Foye was appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

See the email below:

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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