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New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Bob Gordon. Photo courtesy of the New Jersey Senate Majority Office.

Path is cleared for Gordon to join NJ Transit board

Murphy signs bill to allow BPU commissioners to hold unpaid state posts

By David Wildstein, June 11 2020 2:53 pm

Bob Gordon will be allowed to join the New Jersey Transit Board of Directors after Gov. Phil Murphy signed special legislation that allows Board of Public Utilities commissioners to serve in unsalaried state government posts.

Gordon, a former state senator from Bergen County, was nominated to the NJ Transit post by Gov. Phil Murphy and confirmed by the State Senate in January.

Someone missed the statute that specifically prohibited BPU board members or employees from holding any other public position.

At his confirmation hearing, Gordon said he had obtained a written opinion form the State Ethics Commission saying there were no statutory prohibition to holding the unpaid NJ Transit post.  He also said he confirmed that lack of prohibition with the BPU ethics officer.

The bill was sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, a vocal supporter of new voices on the NJ Transit board.  State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) also sponsored the Senate bill; Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield) and Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn) were the Assembly sponsors.

Gordon was elected twice to the Assembly and four times to the Senate, resigned in 2018 to join the BPU.  His nominations to the utilities commission and the transit board sailed through the Senate with bi-partisan support.

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