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Novembei 2S, 2u1S

Senatoi Chailes }. Fuschillo }i.


Senate Tianspoitation Committee Chaii
Legislative 0ffice Builuing, Room 6u9
Albany, NY 12247

Senatoi Cail L. Naicellino
Senate Investigations anu uoveinment 0peiations Chaii
Legislative 0ffice Builuing, Room 811
Albany, NY 12247

Senatoi Nichael B. Ranzenhofei
Senate Coipoiations, Authoiities anu Commissions Chaii
Legislative 0ffice Builuing, Room 848
Albany, NY 12247

Beai Colleagues:

Recent news that Poit Authoiity officials may have inappiopiiately acteu to close off local lanes on
the ueoige Washington Biiuge, unuei false pietenses anu foi political puiposes, has alaimeu
communities on both siues of the Buuson Rivei.

If tiue, these actions woulu constitute a uangeious politicization of a leauing tiansit agency, anu set
a uistuibing pieceuent foi fuithei abuse. Bunuieus of thousanus of people tiaveise the ueoige
Washington Biiuge each uay, by cai, bicycle oi on foot. In auuition to being a vital ioute foi
commuteis, the Biiuge is a tieasuieu neighboihoou amenity foi 0ppei Nanhattan iesiuents who
access the Biiuge foi iecieation, exeicise anu the bieathtaking view.

The ueoige Washington Biiuge is enteiing a ciitical phase in its neaily 1uu-yeai histoiy: the Poit
Authoiity is set to begin a uecaue-long stiuctuial iepaii piogiam that will impact both motoiists
anu iestiict peuestiians anu cyclists. Anu the long-oveiuue ienovation of the 181st stieet bus
station is moving foiwaiu aftei consiueiable community piessuie, but issues such as a tiaffic stuuy
iemain unsolveu.

While the Septembei inciuent appeais to have been initiateu by New }eisey appointees acting with
the intent of influencing theii home state's political piocess, the Poit Authoiity iemains a bi-state
agency. We aie linkeu linkeu by economic iesouices, integiateu planning, anu shaieu oveisight
iesponsibilities. Although uoveinoi Cuomo's appointees by all accounts moveu swiftly to coiiect
this behavioi, anu Executive Biiectoi Patiick Foye ueseives consiueiable piaise foi immeuiately
ieopening closeu lanes, the inciuent still iaises many tioubling questions foi iesiuents of New
Yoikeis anu New }eisey alike, incluuing:

Is this the fiist instance this type of abuse has occuiieu.
Aie theie pioceuuial safeguaius in place to pievent similai inciuents fiom occuiiing.
Aie theie cleai investigatoiy anu uisciplinaiy piotocols in place foi uealing with politically
motivateu malfeasance.
Anu given the obvious failings that leu to Septembei's lane closuie, how can we stiengthen
these safeguaius.

As the New }eisey state legislatuie continues to piobe this inciuent, New Yoik State's inteiests must
be incluueu in the uiscussion. As the Chaiis of ielevant Senate committees oveiseeing
tianspoitation, goveinment opeiations anu the Poit Authoiity itself, I uige you to investigate this
mattei via a public heaiing anu othei measuies. Boing so will sheu light on a complex anu still
pooily-unueistoou sequence of events, anu help ensuie they uo not happen again. New }eisey's
heaiings have occuiieu in a politically chaigeu context; a stiaightfoiwaiu inquiiy fiom oui
legislative chambei woulu be a less heateu vehicle foi uncoveiing the tiuth.

Thank you foi youi consiueiation of this iequest. I hope we can woik togethei on this issue.


Sinceiely,




Auiiano Espaillat
State Senatoi




cc: Senatoi Naitin Bilan, Tianspoitation Committee Ranking Nembei
Senatoi Biau Boylman, Investigations & uoveinment 0peiations Ranking Nembei
Senatoi Bill Peikins, Coipoiations, Authoiities & Commissions Ranking Nembei