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Assembly Minority Whip Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) is accusing Gov. Phil Murphy of putting political patronage hires ahead of New Jersey Transit customers while defending a big pay raise for some top executives.
“I am afraid that the governor didn’t finish his statements today claiming he is committed to fixing NJ Transit,” Munoz said. “He left out the part that his priority is to help his political friends before helping commuters. That is evidently the case since his tenure has resulted in more cancellations, more worker turmoil, and worse service for commuters.”
Murphy told the New Jersey Globe today that he deemed the raises necessary to fix problems at the transit agency that he says were caused by his predecessor, Gov. Chris Christie.
Munoz was among the first legislators to criticize NJ Transit’s decisions to offer raises despite continued delays and cancellations on their rail line.
Two of the raises went to executives with ties to his 2017 campaign for governor.
Munoz likened those raises to the recent controversy at the New Jersey Schools Development Authority, where former New Jersey Democratic State Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco was forced out after getting caught giving job and raises to relatives and political allies.
“Being committed means providing better service. My district still doesn’t have direct access to New York City on the Raritan Valley line and there are no answers. No accountability. Getting trains running, and on time, needs to be a priority,” said Munoz. “Actions speak louder than words, so Murphy’s words are meaningless until the evidence says otherwise. And, there is one common denominator when it comes to patronage under the Murphy administration, and that is the governor himself.”
Munoz’s Democratic opponents, Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman, have criticized her for remaining silent during the eight years Christie ran New Jersey Transit.