The week New Jersey took over Winners & Losers

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
Stone/Shutterstock
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

The week New Jersey took over Winners & Losers

Gov. Phil Murphy was the biggest winner, while Bridget Kelly reminded everyone of another NJ governor.
April 25, 2019

Update: New Jersey dominated the Winners & Losers list last week: Gov. Phil Murphy was voted the biggest winner after he secured an agreement from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to protect Jersey residents from congestion pricing. Meanwhile, Bridget "Time for the traffic problems in Fort Lee" Kelly was voted the biggest loser after she was sentenced to over a year in prison. 

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson got “scraped, scratched, covered in black stains from the tar” – and budget negotiations haven’t even picked up yet! But it wasn’t de Blaz that knocked him down, it was an e-scooter that bucked off CoJo while on vacation in Mexico City.

While (mostly) uninjured, the accident seemed to leave Johnson in a contemplative mood as he tweeted about the single life. As for us, the battle of man versus scooter brought to mind Winners & Losers.

Winners: 
Michael Caputo

After having a cameo in the Mueller report, GOP operative Michael Caputo finally got a chance to appear in the real-life soap opera that is the Trump White House. The early advisor to Trump’s presidential campaign fell out of favor with the president following reports that he was talking to Mueller, but Trump apparently has forgiven him – for now.

Thomas Caputo

Little-known public transit worker Thomas Caputo knows how to work the system. The recently retired chief measurement operator at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority took home $461,646 last year, making him the highest paid employee at the underfunded agency. Even more notable is the fact that $344,147 of his paycheck came from overtime pay, as Caputo was able to grab extra hours in other roles thanks to his long tenure. Hard work – and a collective bargaining agreement that prizes seniority – really does pay off.

Phil Murphy

The New Jersey governor’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana went up in smoke earlier this year, but he may have an informal deal to protect his constituents from New York’s congestion pricing fees. Murphy said this week that he and Gov. Andrew Cuomo had agreed that New Jersey commuters “will be treated equally at all Hudson River crossings, the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the George Washington Bridge.” Yet not everyone seemed to get the memo, injecting even more uncertainty over the matter.

Tom Rutledge

After months of uncertainty, Charter Communications chief Tom Rutledge can rest easy knowing Charter Spectrum will maintain operations in New York. The state Public Service Commission had moved to kick them out for allegedly not fulfilling a commitment to build out broadband service upstate, but this week Charter struck a deal with the PSC. Assuming it goes through, upstate New Yorkers could be winners too, with Charter committing to build out service this time around.

Ben Walsh

It’s been a long road for Syracuse in the saga of a stretch of Interstate 81. The city has been talking about replacing a 1.4-mile viaduct since 2008 and planning has been going on since at least 2013. There were several alternatives, including building a better viaduct, improving city streets to handle local traffic – the “community grid” option – while sending through traffic around the city, and building a high-speed tunnel. At long last, the state Department of Transportation came out in favor of the community grid option – which Walsh said he’s “excited” about.

Losers: 
Laurence Doud III

The former chief executive of the Rochester Drug Cooperative made history this week – though not the kind of anyone wants to make. Doud and Rochester Drug were charged with drug trafficking, apparently marking the first criminal charges for a pharmaceutical company and its executives in the ongoing opioid crisis. It’s fair to say the prospect of facing up to 10 years in prison throws a wrench in Doud’s retirement plans.

Erik Jacobsen

The Bedford town justice wound up on the wrong end of a Taser after getting pulled over for a DWI in Mount Kisco and resisting arrest, proving that being a judge doesn’t necessarily mean you have good judgment. Nor does it win you any favors if you break the law, especially if you become unruly. Jacobsen will soon find himself on the opposite side the bench when he appears in court.

Bridget Kelly

The former aide to Gov. Chris Christie infamously wrote “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” in 2013. Now she has 13 months in federal prison to think about why she should never use email again. A federal judge sentenced her this week for her role in the “Bridgegate” scandal that transformed Christie from a presidential contender to a cable news has-been. Now he has a disgruntled former aide on his hands who is vowing to destroy him any way she can.

Carmelyn Malalis

The title of New York City human rights commissioner comes with high expectations, so The City’s reporting that Malalis’ office was taking up to four and a half years to resolve sexual harassment complaints was doubly disappointing. And of all the government offices in the city, hers was the only one not to meet the budget cut targets set by the mayor’s office – though with wait times like those, it seems like she needs all the help she can get.

Michael Ryan

The embattled New York City Board of Elections was back in the news this week, this time for a potential conflict of interest involving the executive director’s attempt to use an untested voting machine. Michael Ryan, who runs the BOE, wanted the state to let him use a touchscreen voting machine made by Election Systems and Software – which interestingly enough had appointed Ryan to a “secretive advisory board” and “flew him around the country,” NY1 reported. Now, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says it’s time for Ryan to resign and City Councilman Ritchie Torres is calling for an investigation.

City & State
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