From the AP, via tribtown.com:
NEWARK, New Jersey — There's a new explanation from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on a two-year-old vote by its chairman that has raised questions of a possible conflict of interest.http://www.tribtown.com/...
Port Authority board meeting minutes from February 2012 reflect chairman David Samson voting to approve a favorable lease extension for a New Jersey Transit park-and-ride lot. Samson's law firm represented NJ Transit. This week, a Port Authority lawyer sent a letter to Samson saying a review showed Samson meant to recuse himself from the vote but that the vote was mis-recorded.
The Record newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/... ) Friday that the Port Authority now says the vote was actually taken by an operations committee because not enough board members were present.
Meeting minutes from the Feb. 9, 2012 board meeting were formally adopted at the Port Authority's meeting the next month. They show that six board members, including Samson, voted to approve the NJ Transit deal.
Okay, so earlier in the week, Rachel Maddow reports on this one-dollar lease deal that Samson is recorded as having approved. The official response was "Oopsies! Samson meant to recuse himself from that vote." But since that excuse might make the entire lease void, they now have a new story: "Actually, the operations committee took that vote, not the board members."
Final answer, Mr. Samson, or would you like to phone a friend?
"Samson must step down." -The Star-LedgerThe Record (northjersey.com) has more:
For the second time in two days, the Port Authority changed its story about a vote taken two years ago that approved leasing 13 acres to NJ Transit — a client of the agency chairman’s law firm — for $1 a year.http://www.northjersey.com/...
On Wednesday, the agency said the chairman, David Samson, meant to recuse himself from the vote, even though he was recorded in the official minutes as voting in favor of the lease. On Thursday, the agency said the vote was taken by an operations committee because not enough members of the full board were present — even though minutes from the meeting show a quorum of the board with six members voting in favor of the lease. Minutes from the operations committee don’t mention the lease deal, but show three other committee actions.
The Port Authority’s latest statement came hours after The Record questioned the legality of the lease with NJ Transit. Without Samson’s vote, it appears the action would violate agency bylaws that require three commissioners each from New York and New Jersey to participate in any vote.
The article it appears in is also kinda devastating: