Wednesday, March 05, 2014

More top NJT execs reported dismissed

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Kevin O'Connor Kevin O'Connor

Two more top New Jersey Transit executives have been reported on the way out following the start March 1, 2014 of Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim's tenure as NJT Executive Director, succeeding Jim Weinstein.

NJT Director of Rail Operations Kevin O'Connor, along with Director of Bus Operations Joyce Gallagher, also are departing from NJT, local media reported March 4, 2014. Weinstein's departure was made public on Feb. 18.

Unclear was whether the departures were voluntary, forced, or something in between. State Transportation Commissioner Jim Simpson reportedly asserted Gallagher and O'Connor were still NJT employees, but other sources suggested such language was linguistic swordsplay.

Also unclear is the specific reason for the departures, though many suggest NJT's failure to protect rail rolling stock during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 was a significant factor affecting O'Connor's credibility. Others say the shakeup at NJT is part of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's attempt to deflect attention from his own current political scandal involving entrance-ramp-lane closures at the George Washington Bridge.


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