DRPA Safety Chief Quits Amid Free E-ZPass Complaints

Mike Joyce, the chief public safety officer for the Delaware River Port Authority, resigned today after weeks of complaints by John Dougherty, a local labor leader who serves on the agency's board.  Joyce was suspended last week for three days and had to pay the DRPA $600 after admitting that he used an E-ZPass transponder assigned to another agency employee.

Ed Kasuba, a DRPA spokesman, confirmed this afternoon that Joyce resigned but could offer no other information.  Joyce, an attorney, was paid $180,081 by the agency along with a $9,000 car allowance and also did legal work outside of the office.

DRPA executive director John Matheussen last week said that Joyce told him John Lawless, the agency's corporate secretary offered him the E-ZPass transponder in October 2008.  Joyce, who had his own DRPA E-ZPass transponder, used the one from Lawless in a family car.  Lawless was escorted out of DRPA's headquarters in Camden in April for reasons that remain unclear but is still on the agency's payroll.

DRPA employees are allowed 100 free trips per year across one of the four bridges over the Delaware River maintained by the agency.  Dougherty, business manager for Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, has been complaining for weeks about not getting answers to questions about that perk along with DRPA hiring practices and executive pay.  Dougherty has been pushing the brother of one of his union's business agents for a high-ranking position in the DRPA Public Safety Department.