PA GOP: Time For DRPA Chairman John Estey To Go! Does Onorato agree?

Why wait until the end of the year?  John Estey should resign today!
What does Onorato think?

HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding the ongoing corruption scandals at the Delaware River Port Authority and called on DRPA Chairman John Estey to resign today.

“With an audit detailing excessive salaries, obscene car allowances and abuses of EZ Pass, I think many would agree that the way the DRPA is doing business under the leadership of John Estey is not in the best interests of the taxpayers,” Gleason said.  “Why wait to resign Mr. Estey?  Resign today!  I believe that every day that John Estey is allowed to stay in this position is another day that we allow mismanagement and a lack of leadership to continue at the DRPA.  In order for real reforms to take place and to help begin the long process of gaining back the public’s trust in the DRPA, Estey should resign now.

“A month ago, Dan Onorato refused to confirm whether or not he would replace Estey as head of the DRPA.  Now that Estey has made his decision for him by announcing that he will step aside at the end of the year, will Onorato have the courage to do the right thing and ask Estey to resign immediately?  What is Onorato’s deal with Estey and Rendell that he’s so afraid to comment on this critically important issue?

“Like most things that have occurred during the Rendell administration, mismanagement and cronyism rule the day at the DRPA.  It is not surprising to me that Governor Ed Rendell has attempted to hide his involvement with DRPA as news continues to break about the corruption and mismanagement that he fostered there during his administration.  After all, since 2002, Rendell has been the one overseeing the corrupt organization, either directly or through his former chief of staff John Estey.

“While DRPA board members are driving over bridges that are literally falling apart in cars paid for by a 60% increase in tolls. The organization carries a debt load of $1.4 billion, but yet they continue to spending funds frivolously on projects that are not directly related to its core job of operating four toll bridges and the PATCO commuter train.

“DRPA has put forth some reform measures only after getting caught; however, keeping Estey is akin to allowing a serial bank robber to guard the bank vault.”

Earlier this month, an independent audit of the DRPA detailed political meddling, unauthorized projects, and employees who were “deemed by the staff as ‘untouchable’ because of their political connections.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer published an editorial calling for John Estey to resign immediately as the Chairman of the DRPA.  They wrote:

“Estey said that he will step down at the end of the year. But his services are no longer needed. He should go now. The DRPA can find a way to survive the next few months without his Ballard Spahr legal connections and political ties to Gov. Rendell.” (“Editorial: DRPA brass can take a hike,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/20/10)

The Pennsylvania Governor appoints the chairman of the DRPA, which means that the next Governor of Pennsylvania will have a big say in the direction of the DRPA.  While Tom Corbett believes we need a change in leadership at the DRPA, Dan Onorato seems more inclined to go with the status quo.  When asked about the future of John Estey, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato refused to say whether or not he would ask him to resign from the Delaware River Port Authority:

“When I become governor, I will take a look at all or government from the secretaries of all the department of state governments. … I will do a total review from top to bottom. I am not elected now, I am not going to talk about personnel but I will tell you this—the prerogative of a new governor to make changes across the board—I believe in.” (“Onorato Dodges A Question On Estey”, 8/6/10)

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