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DiCicco Blasts DRPA! What Are They Hiding?

August 3, 2010


Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco


 In response to media reports today in which the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) chairman defended the agency against charges of cronyism and a lack of accountability, Assemblyman Domenick DiCicco said if the agency has nothing to hide its chairman should welcome an independent federal investigation. 

“Mr. Estey’s comments are highly disturbing given the seriousness of these revelations,” 

said DiCicco, R-Gloucester and Camden. 

“It is exactly this type of thinking that has led to all the problems at the DRPA. The recent revelations of EZ Pass fraud to double dipping patronage jobs are indefensible. 

“The DRPA has not performed a fiscal audit since 2001 and now it wants more money from toll payers. It is just plain wrong to exact more money from hard-working commuters and others who use the bridges when acknowledging long-standing wrong doing and abuse of funds,” 

DiCicco continued. 

“Mr. Estey contends the matter involving Mr. Joyce was ‘a lot of smoke, but not a lot fire.’ What Mr. Estey doesn’t realize is that too much smoke can kill you. If he has nothing to hide, then he has nothing to fear.” 

Estey, who called Joyce’s abuse of funds “a judgment error,” on Monday acknowledged during a radio interview there has been “too much political influence” at the DRPA. 

DiCicco and Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Vereb, R-Montgomery, last week called for a federal investigation of the DRPA after it was revealed its chief public safety officer, Michael Joyce, gave his daughter a publicly-funded E-Z Pass transponder for personal use for 18 months. DRPA chief executive John Matheussen, whom Estey praised for his leadership during the Monday interview, slapped Joyce with a small fine. Joyce resigned his $180,000-a-year job last week following pressure from DiCicco, Vereb and Governor Christie. 

Christie last week called for 19 reforms at the DRPA, including the end of free bridge passes for executives and employees, an end to car allowances for managers, fewer hirings of family members, an end to closed-door meetings, audits by state watchdogs, rule changes concerning conflicts of interest, charitable donations and disclosure of vendors’ political contributions. 

DiCicco said the recent revelations may just be the tip of the iceberg and that the reforms Governor Christie has called for should be implemented following a thorough investigation of all DRPA operations. 

“I beg to differ with Mr. Estey’s comments. “‘Where there is smoke, there is fire,’” 

DiCicco stated. 

“The public has the right to know if the incident involving Mr. Joyce warrants criminal charges and if the authority is engaged in any other practice that law enforcement should be concerned with,” 

said DiCicco.


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