Gov. Chris Christie says a low-level manager -- not the state's mass transit chief -- was to blame for failing to move trains to higher ground during Superstorm Sandy, causing $120 million in damage.
Christie told The Record newspaper's editorial board on Thursday the employee deviated from a storm plan at the last minute without the knowledge of New Jersey Transit executive director Jim Weinstein.
The governor says the unnamed employee was a civil servant and because of civil service rules, could only be demoted and not fired.
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“He was demoted as a result of that decision, and that’s what we could do,” Christie told the paper. “There’s certain people, when you’re governor, that you can fire, and there’s certain people that the law does not permit you to do that to.”
However, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission website makes no reference to NJ Transit and the agency's job applications don't mention civil service requirements.
Sandy's surge overwhelmed low-lying rail yards in Hoboken and Kearny, damaging 273 rail cars and 82 locomotives.