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Port Authority Scandal Is Result of Leadership, Patronage Mess, Analysts Say

However, increasingly, over the last decade or so, governors from both states have bypassed the 12 Port Authority commissioners and insisted on their own choices for executive director or deputy executive director, Doig said.

"As a result, there have been seven executive or acting executive directors in the past 10 years," he wrote, "hindering the authority's ability to maintain a steady course,” particularly with the “management confusion” created by having the executive director and deputy executive director answering to different governors, and not to the Port Authority commissioners as a group.

The answer, Doig asserted, is for the 12 commissioners to begin to exercise their independent judgment, using the power granted them under the interstate compact that created the Port Authority. But the idea that Christie’s or Cuomo’s political appointees will be willing to buck the governors who appointed them seems unlikely.

“We really need to address the structural reforms needed to make the Port Authority able to function better and independently,” Robins said. “Because right now, the structure we have simply isn’t working.”

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