Chair, exec director ousted in Port Authority shakeup

John Degnan: Out after three years as chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie shook up the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Tuesday, replacing its chairman and executive director and ordering new appointees to rekindle the hunt for a professional manager. 

Former New Jersey legislator Kevin OToole, who resigned from the New Jersey State Senate June 30, has been named chairman of the board and Rick Cotton, special counsel to Cuomo, has been named executive director of the dual-state agency.

The pair replaces John Degnan and Patrick Foye, respectively. Degnan came to prominence in the wake of the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal, replacing David Samson as Port Authority chairman.

Foye, a Long Island resident, was at the agency during the scandal and ordered the lanes leading to the GWB reopened. He unsuccessfully lobbied for the still-vacant CEO job, announced his resignation as executive director, then agreed to stay on while the states sorted things out.

Cotton, Foyes successor, is a former television executive and general counsel whos served in assistant roles in various federal agencies. Hes a Harvard undergrad and Yale law school grad.

Foye may be in line for an MTA position, according to reports.

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