Claims Of NJ Transit Mismanagement at Legislative Hearing

Aug 25, 2017

Todd Barretta testifies at legislative hearing.

New Jersey Transit's management and culture came in from some blistering criticism at a legislative hearing.

Nancy Erika Smith is a civil rights lawyer. She told state lawmakers there's a toxic, corrupt, sexist, and racist atmosphere at the agency.

"If HR and EEO won't help victims, and they don't at New Jersey Transit, and employees who complain are openly retaliated against, who in their right mind will complain?"

Todd Barretta was fired about five months after he took the job as New Jersey Transit's compliance officer. He told lawmakers he was told not to put anything in writing about the problems he found.

"Although my tenure was extremely short in terms of time, I witnessed more occurrences of agency-wide mismanagement fueled by ignorance, arrogance, hypocrisy, incompetence, patronage, coverup, and corruption than one can expect to encounter in an entire career."

The agency's executive director Steve Santoro called Smith's allegations over the top and dismissed Barretta’s claims.

“From the context of his testimony we’re wondering how we’re operating at all if there’s a complete dysfunction.”

Lawmakers says measures to make changes will be forthcoming.

Assemblyman John McKeon is urging Governor Christie to appoint a consultant to address the agency's management.

Click below to hear the WBGO Journal feature on the hearing.