As expected, Governor Cuomo has tapped Patrick Foye to replace Chris Ward as executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Foye, Cuomo’s deputy secretary for economic development and an MTA board member, had been considered a contender since shortly after Ward announced plans to step down.
An appointee of David Paterson, Ward was praised by sustainability advocates for sound fiscal stewardship and his awareness of the importance of transit and cycling to the region’s transportation mix. But Cuomo was reportedly never a fan of Ward, and Ward clashed openly with Cuomo and Chris Christie when the two governors raided billions in Port Authority funds, a move that precipitated a hike in tolls and transit fares.
Foye is a Republican who also worked with Democrat Eliot Spitzer as downstate chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation. Wrote the Observer in 2008: “Mr. Foye, once a member of the Conservative Party and a Republican donor, was brought in by Mr. Spitzer during his campaign. An acquaintance of both Mr. Spitzer and his wife Silda from his days at [law firm] Skadden Arps, Mr. Foye joined the governor in his rhetoric of parsimony with state dollars, keeping subsidy amounts to a minimum.”
Foye will take the helm at the Port Authority at the end of the month.