DRPA Director Resigns After Abusing Free Tolls

Commissioner says he never expected such a level of "stupidity and greed"

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A Delaware River Port Authority director is out of a job after admitting to providing his daughter with toll-free rides across area bridges.

DRPA director of public safety Mike Joyce submitted his resignation Tuesday after revealing he gave his daughter a fellow manager's EZ-Pass transponder so she could drive across the Delaware for free.

DRPA Commissioner John Dougherty called the resignation "overdue" in a stinging statement following Joyce's departure.

"When I started asking tough questions of the DRPA management almost two years ago, I never expected the level of stupidity and greed I’ve encountered and the utter disrespect the Authority has shown to the taxpayers of New Jersey and Pennsylvania," he said.

Dougherty vowed to seek out further abuses of power inside the bi-state agency that's run by the governors of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

News of free rides for Joyce's family was followed by an admission by the agency's vice president that he was unaware until recently employees were entitled to 100 free tolls or PATCO rides a year.

"It's a perk that should not exist," John Nash said.

Nash and chairman John Estey say they plan to make proposals this week to eliminate the free rides for managers.

Such a move would have to be worked out with unions representing other workers, he said. But some of the policy changes can be made by the DRPA's top executive while others will need approval from its board, possibly at a special meeting.

The DRPA operates the Walt Whitman, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry Bridges as well as the PATCO high-speed line in N.J. and Philadelphia. It costs $4 to cross into Pennsylvania on all four bridges.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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