An audit found the top administrator at the Delaware River Port Authority gave two dozen employees raises without the required permission of the top officials on the authority's board.

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The report, completed in May but made public Monday, also faulted agency CEO John Matheussen for not telling Gov. Chris Christie's liaison to the DRPA about the pay hikes last year.

Matheussen and two other top executives at the agency filed a response more than twice as long as the 31-page audit, saying that the findings from agency Inspector General Thomas W. Raftery III are misleading. The executives said they did have the authority to give worker raises.

Raftery said in the report that he looked into the raises after hearing complaints from employees, who said that favoritism is a problem and there's poor morale in the agency. Some workers have not seen raises for five years, and after an uproar, many lost one perk: free train rides and toll passage.

The DRPA runs four Philadelphia-area bridge connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania and the PACTO commuter rail line.

Officials from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been critical of the agency's practices. The agency was formerly an economic development force in the Philadelphia area, but it has stopped funding projects unrelated to transportation after anger over its role.

Details of the audit were first reported by The Courier-Post of Cherry Hill.

 

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