DRPA chief responds to letter on pace of reforms

Posted: July 03, 2012

John Matheussen, chief executive of the Delaware River Port Authority, said Monday that he was not seeking sole authority over the DRPA's new inspector general.

Matheussen was responding to a report in The Inquirer about a letter he recently received from Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner, also a DRPA commissioner.

The letter urged faster action on reforms at the agency and told Matheussen to make sure that Inspector General Thomas Raftery had both "the independence and the resources" needed to "prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of authority resources."

Raftery should report to him and to the DRPA board's audit committee as directed in the January board resolution hiring him, Matheussen said.

"We have clear guidance on that. The resolution lays out that he is to report to the board and the CEO," Matheussen said Monday. "Only the board can make a change to that."

Enacting the 2010 reforms is his "top priority," Matheussen said at the agency's monthly meeting in June.

That followed a report by Raftery that many DRPA policy changes adopted in 2010 at the request of Gov. Christie and then-Gov. Ed Rendell have not been translated into daily practice.

Rules about ethics, political contributions, contracts, and purchasing have not been incorporated into the DRPA's bylaws and standard operating procedures, Raftery found.

In his letter last week, Wagner echoed a request by fellow Commissioner David Simon that Matheussen provide by the July 18 board meeting "a detailed plan for addressing this important issue."

DRPA spokesman Timothy Ireland, who has been named to head the implementation effort, said a plan would be in place by then.

Contact Paul Nussbaum at 856-354-2296 or pnussbaum@phillynews.com.

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