By MICHAEL GORMLEY - Associated Press
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday nominated one of his top economic development aides to run the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Cuomo is recommending authority board approval of Patrick Foye to replace Executive Director Christopher Ward. Cuomo has been critical of the authority this year and a replacement was expected.
Cuomo confirmed this week an audit is under way into what may be questionable spending by the authority, but didn't elaborate.
The authority didn't immediately release the salary of the executive director; Ward was paid more than $304,000 last year.
Foye has been Cuomo's deputy secretary for economic development and formerly was a deputy county executive in Nassau County.
Ward will remain on the job until Foye is approved by the board, which is expected.
Ward had been appointed to the job managing one of the world's busiest ports by former Gov. David Paterson. He has been credited with finally getting the World Trade Center redevelopment and Sept. 11 memorial out of a political limbo and done by the 10th anniversary this year.
Cuomo also nominated Rossana Rosado to the authority's board and announced that he wants the authority to assume the roles of two economic development agencies in New York City, the Moynihan Station Development Corp. and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., creating a powerful city development body under Cuomo.
"The Port Authority must meet its potential as a major economic engine that plans for the region and attracts business on an international scale," Cuomo said. "We must also improve its operations and maximize the value out of every dollar spent so that it is financially responsible and respects the tax and toll payers."