Corbett resigns from DRPA board; David F. Simon set to replace him

Posted: August 03, 2012

Gov. Corbett said Wednesday that he was resigning as chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority.

David F. Simon, a DRPA board member who is executive vice president and chief legal officer of Jefferson Health System, is to be nominated next month to replace Corbett as chairman. Andrew J. Reilly, a lawyer who chairs the Republican Committee of Delaware County, is to take Corbett's seat on the board.

Corbett, like his predecessor, Ed Rendell, appointed himself to the board of the bistate agency and was elected chairman in March 2011.

The DRPA operates four toll bridges between Philadelphia and South Jersey, as well as the PATCO commuter-rail line.

"When I joined the board of commissioners last year, I said I would remain only as long as it took to return the authority to its core mission: providing safe, reliable, customer-friendly transportation to the people of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey," Corbett said in a statement Wednesday. "I believe the board is reliably committed to that mission, and the time has come for me to leave it in the board's care."

During Corbett's tenure, a previously approved toll hike took effect, the DRPA doled out the last $29 million of its controversial economic-development funds, and several top managers and most of the Pennsylvania board members were replaced with Corbett selections.

The New Jersey state comptroller issued a report criticizing the DRPA for wasting millions of dollars in tollpayers' money through mismanagement and political cronyism, mostly before Corbett arrived.

And an inspector general hired on Corbett's watch issued his first report, chastising the agency for not fully implementing management reforms approved in 2010.

Simon, 59, of Gwynedd Valley, chaired Corbett's transition teams for Pennsylvania's departments of insurance and public welfare. He served in the administration of Gov. Tom Ridge as chief counsel for the Department of Insurance.

As DRPA chairman, he plans to "continue to focus our mission on transportation. We will continue to strengthen management controls and pursue management efficiencies. Most importantly, we will add value on our customers' terms, not our own."

Reilly, 49, of Middletown Township, is a former chairman of the Delaware County Council.

He is a partner in the Media law firm of Swartz Campbell, specializing in municipal liability, personal injury, and real estate and commercial litigation. His clients include the Delaware County Redevelopment Authority, the Delaware County Economic Development Oversight Board, the Brandywine Conference and Visitors' Bureau, electricians union Local 654, and Aston Township.

Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587


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