Two top Thruway Authority officials resigned on Wednesday as the authority faces questions over tolls, its operations and how it will pay for the new Tappan Zee Bridge.

Executive Director Thomas Madison and Chief Financial Officer John Bryan turned in their resignations, according to an email sent Wednesday from Thruway Authority Board of Directors Vice Chair Donna Luh to employees. The resignations came as the state Inspector General’s Office is reportedly finishing up an investigation into the authority.

They also follow the resignation of Thruway Authority Chair Howard Millstein in early December.

“Both are outstanding public servants who have led our organization through some very challenging and exciting times,” Luh wrote of Madison and Bryan. “The Board and I wish them all the best as they leave to pursue new opportunities, and thank them for their many years of dedicated service. Leadership changes at the Authority are part of a natural transition of government, and I am working closely with fellow Board members and Authority staff to assure a smooth and efficient transition process.”

Madison said in a statement that it has been an honor to serve in the Cuomo administration.

“It was a particular privilege to be a part of the leadership team of the New NY Bridge project to replace the Tappan Zee and to serve alongside so many talented and committed public servants,” he said.

Deputy Secretary of Transportation Karen Rae will manage the transition, while Jennifer McCormick, assistant deputy director of state operations, will take over day-to-day operations until a new executive director steps in.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Madison for his post in 2011. Before that, Madison worked for the state and federal transportation departments. The Daily News reported last week that the Cuomo administration had approached possible replacements for Madison amid the inspector general’s investigation.

Bryan had served as chief financial officer since 2004.

According to data from SeeThroughNY, a website sponsored by the Empire Center for Public Policy, both men made more than $175,000 in 2013.

The resignations come at a tumultuous time for the Thruway Authority, as it faces scrutiny from the construction of a $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge.

The authority recently released a $2 billion spending plan, which did not include projected toll increases. But fears have been raised that tolls along the 570-mile highway system will have to increase to help finance the project.

The Thruway Authority has taken public relations hits elsewhere as well, most recently in November, when seven feet of snow buried the Buffalo region. Some Thruway motorists were stranded by huge snowdrifts for more than a day.

Madison and Bryan join other top state officials who stepped down before the first of the year. Capital New York reported Wednesday that Department of Motor Vehicles CommissionerBarbara Fiala submitted her retirement papers. Office of Temporary and Disability AssistanceCommissioner Kristin Proud and Labor Commissioner Peter Rivera also have left their jobs.

© 2015 Albany Times Union

You may also like

Resignations Put Focus on Fiscal Woes at Thruway Authority

A number of high-profile resignations at the New York State Thruway Authority is renewing concerns about its shaky fiscal foundation. Executive Director Tom Madison and Chief Financial Officer John Bryan left the agency Wednesday. Chairman Howard Milstein stepped down at the beginning of December. Read More

E.J. McMahon on report urging New York state government transparency

New York's top economic development agency isn't releasing enough information to determine whether billions of dollars are being misspent. Read More

New Thruway Authority head faces long list of problems

When Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tapped Robert L. Megna last week to head the New York State Thruway Authority, the appointment was widely recognized as a Capitol veteran wise in the ways of Albany. But Megna – who enjoys Cuomo’s confidence as his longtime budget director – may be inheriting problems too daunting even for an Albany wizard. Not only must he manage the 570-mile Thruway, he also is saddled with paying for the biggest construction project in the state – a new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge – and an ancient and expensive canal system. Then there are these challenges for 60-year-old Thruway. Read More

One in 7 in MTA earns six figures, records show

One in seven of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's 71,837 employees took home more than $100,000 last year, according to the Empire Center. "A lot of people make a lot of money at the MTA," said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the think tank that routinely posts public payroll records online. Read More

Editorial: Workin’ on the railroad

The Long Island Rail Road workers threatening to go on strike this year make livings that most New Yorkers can only envy. The average LIRR employee made $83,794 in 2013 — 62% higher than the city’s median household income — and more than a quarter of them boasted incomes north of $100,000, according to the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

Port Authority Officers Earn Big Bucks Thanks to OT

Overtime pay boosted eight Port Authority police officers' salaries over $300,000 last year, and overall, 11 officers each earned more than the chairmen in New York and New Jersey who ran the two-state agency. Read More

Retired cops ‘double-dipping’ with new Port Authority jobs

The Port Authority has hired at least 11 retired cops — most from the NYPD or New Jersey — who “double dip” by collecting hefty police pensions while earning big bucks in their new posts, The Post has learned. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!