TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two of Gov. Chris Christie appointees to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey led a secretive campaign to quickly push through toll hikes on the Hudson River bridges and tunnels, according to a published report.
Citing interviews it conducted with eight people who were familiar with the operation, The Record reports the campaign was run by Bill Baroni, the authority’s former deputy executive director, and his aide, David Wildstein.
The goal was to have the bistate agency propose an enormous toll hike so the governors could scale it back and appear to be fiscal hawks, according to the report.
Smaller toll increases were eventually approved in 2011.
The newspaper says Cuomo’s office didn’t return requests seeking comment. Baroni, Wildstein and Christie’s office all declined comment.
Neither Christie’s office nor Cuomo’s office responded to requests for comment made by The Associated Press on Sunday afternoon.