The Union County Improvement Authority (UCIA) was embarking on another project of dubious value to taxpayers but of critical importance to various political insiders and they had to go before the Local Fiance Board on May 8, 2013 for rubber-stamping.
We knew going in that it would be futile but if only to get it on some public record Jim Buettner and I commented at that hearing. Jim got to say everything he wanted but in my few minutes I was interrupted:
That voice in the background not willing to sit and listen to me was this guy:
Jamie Fox (not interrupting when DeCotiis puts up its defense).
This may have been the only time that anyone who was not being recompensed by taxpayer money for their time went before the Local Finance Board and must certainly have been the only time that person was interrupted for bringing up the background of those in line to benefit from the project being discussed. If there was an architect whose buildings consistently collapsed involved wouldn’t that past history be relevant? So why not a law firm that consistently gouged their clients for projects that often went bust?
Almost all of these boards exist to provide the false front of citizen-participation so that law firms like DeCotiis who get politicians to go ahead with these wasteful (for taxpayers) projects can say their actions were approved by this ‘independent’ board even if that board is made up of political hacks who take their cues from the same people who put those politicians into office.
Jamie Fox does stay and listen more often than not in other situations and one of those instances cost him his job (amid a federal inquiry) yesterday:
New Jersey’s transportation commissioner, who has been the subject of questions in a federal inquiry into dealings between United Airlines and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will leave the job by the end of the month, Gov. Christie announced on Friday.
The commissioner, Jamie Fox, has long been a fixture of New Jersey politics, serving in the same position in the administration of former Gov. James E. McGreevey. Between those stints, Mr. Fox was a lobbyist for prominent clients, including United.
The United States attorney’s office in Newark is investigating whether United reinstated flights to a South Carolina airport close to the weekend home of David Samson, the former Port Authority chairman, in exchange for concessions the airline sought from the agency. Mr. Samson is said to have raised the issue with United officials at a dinner that Mr. Fox attended in Manhattan in September 2011.