James Simpson has confirmed reports he is stepping down in June as commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Transportation and returning to the private sector.

James S. Simpson, commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Transportation, talks about the loss of structural integrity of the rusted-through webbing of a support I-beam under the road surface of the Pulaski Skyway (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Simpson told the Star-Ledger he is exiting after five years to help the company he owns, Victory Worldwide Trucking of Jamesburg, through some tough times.

He called his time as Commissioner, in which he headed the boards of NJ Transit, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the South Jersey Transportation Authority and the state Transportation Trust Fund, "the most gratifying experience I've ever had."

But, the position has its drawbacks, he told The Record: “Having the greatest job in the world doesn’t allow me to do for my family, and I am getting older.” 

Simpson said he had wanted to leave last fall but decided stay for the start of the Pulaski Skyway project and management changes at NJ Transit and the Turnpike Authority.