That fight has divided the DRPA board between its Pennsylvania and New Jersey factions and prevented Gov. Corbett from stepping down as chairman.
Raftery was hired for $130,000 a year to be DRPA's first inspector general. The position was created as part of efforts in 2010 to try to make DRPA more transparent and accountable.
Raftery issued his first report in June, chastising DRPA for not putting into practice many of the reforms adopted nearly two years earlier. Rules about ethics, political contributions, contracts, and purchasing have not been incorporated into DRPA's bylaws and standard operating procedures, Raftery found.
He reportedly clashed with Matheussen about reporting to the chief executive as well as to the board. Last month, the board moved to have Raftery report primarily to board officials and its audit committee.
His salary became an issue in August. Several New Jersey board members objected to a proposed $35,000 raise for Raftery, arguing that DRPA's nonunion employees have not had a pay raise in four years, so it was no time for an executive to get a 27 percent raise.
Those New Jersey board members boycotted the August board meeting over the issue, preventing a vote on a new board chairman to replace Corbett.
Corbett had announced on Aug. 1 that he was resigning as DRPA chairman. He appointed Delaware County lawyer and Republican leader Andrew J. Reilly to take his seat on the board and proposed that DRPA board member David Simon, executive vice president of the Jefferson Health System, be named chairman.
Two months later, Corbett is still chairman. Reilly, after a trip to DRPA's Camden headquarters for a swearing-in that never happened, hasn't been back. And Simon remains a board member but has not been elected chairman.
At Wednesday's meeting of the DRPA audit committee, the inspector general issue again caused fireworks.
Proposals to create operating standards for the inspector general prompted objections from Jeff Nash, leader of the New Jersey delegation, and Matheussen.
Teplitz, who represents Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner on the board and as chair of the audit committee, then accused Matheussen of being the biggest obstacle to reform. And Teplitz and Nash sparred over Nash's claim that he had not previously seen the proposed operating standards for Raftery.
In the end, no action was taken on the inspector general issues, and the rift between New Jersey and Pennsylvania board members remained unresolved.
Matheussen on Thursday downplayed the fractious session.
"There was a vigorous discussion about changes that were proposed, but sometimes good things come out of vigorous discussions," he said. "It's all good. Significant headway is being made."
Though the inspector general is the flash point at DRPA, other issues are at play as well.
As always with the bistate DRPA, politics and geography are major factors.
Six of the eight Pennsylvania board members are Republicans, appointed by Corbett. (The other two, Democrats, are the state treasurer and auditor general, who are on the board because of their elected positions.)
The eight New Jersey board members are Democrats, holdovers from the Corzine administration. Three of the eight are union leaders, including ironworkers official Richard Sweeney, brother of State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester).
The union leaders have been unhappy with DRPA's failure to settle a long-running contract dispute with DRPA police officers, who have been working under terms of a contract that expired Dec. 31, 2009. And they've been involved in a long-running dispute over who can get lucrative jobs on DRPA construction projects, because of "project labor agreements" that require contractors to employ workers from the Building and Construction Trades Council.
Several major Pennsylvania contractors have complained they have been barred from DRPA projects because they employ members of the United Steelworkers union, which is a rival of the ironworkers and is not a member of the trades council.
Amid those undercurrents, Raftery arrived in January as DRPA's first inspector general.
In August, the DRPA finance committee recommended Raftery get a salary increase to $165,000. Committee vice chairman Simon said Raftery would take on expanded duties, and cited his "fierce independence."
Nash, the finance committee chairman, voted for the increase, saying it would put Raftery's pay on par with the salaries of chiefs of departments at the agency, who make between $160,000 and $180,000.
Nash has since joined the other New Jersey board members in opposing the raise, citing the lack of raises for rank-and-file workers.
The increase would give Raftery a higher salary than most inspectors general or similar administrators in Pennsylvania or New Jersey government posts.
For instance, the inspector general of Pennsylvania, Kenya Mann Faulkner, receives $138,015, and New Jersey Comptroller Matthew Boxer gets $141,000.
Because of his 22 years at the FBI, Raftery, 53, receives a federal pension. He declined to say how much that is, but FBI sources estimated it at $45,000 a year.
The ongoing dispute could end with Raftery leaving DRPA, some of his supporters said this week, and that could prompt a renewed debate over the agency's desire for internal reform.
Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.