Jersey's storm recovery chief steps down, replaced by deputy
Send a link to a friend
[July 09, 2014]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The director of
New Jersey's response to Superstorm Sandy stepped down on Tuesday,
almost two years after the storm tore through the state, and was
replaced by his deputy, Governor Chris Christie's office said.
Marc Ferzan, who was appointed in the early days of the recovery
in 2012, has been criticized for delays in doling out recovery money
and accused of allowing politics to interfere with the distribution
In a statement, Christie said that Ferzan served with "great
professionalism, effectiveness and with the needs of Sandy survivors
always in the front of his mind."
Sandy crashed into the Jersey Shore in late 2012, tearing up
beach-front boardwalks and leaving entire towns with extensive
flooding and storm damage.
Christie's initial response, especially his public embrace of
President Barack Obama in the days leading up to the Democratic
president's re-election, was widely lauded, and the governor himself
cruised to re-election the following year.
But since the start of the year Christie has been beset by scandals,
including one involving a made-up study that caused a massive
traffic snarl near the George Washington Bridge. Christie also faces
charges by the Democratic mayor of Hoboken that his office linked
Sandy aid to her support of a development project.
Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club and one of the
governor's harshest critics, faulted Christie's insistence on
rebuilding on land that Tittle said is especially vulnerable to
future storms and Ferzan's frequent absence from meetings and
legislative hearings on storm recovery.
[to top of second column]
Tittel and others have also faulted the state for spending recovery
dollars on inland counties, while badly hit coastal areas say they
have not received enough help.
"It's not the individuals but the policies that are a failure, and
the policies come from the governor," Tittel said.
Ferzan's replacement, Terrence Brody, has served as the deputy
executive director of the Governorís Office of Recovery and
Rebuilding since its creation. He previously served as chief of
staff to the state attorney general.
The governor's office said that Ferzan is departing to "support a
career opportunity for his wife" and will teach at the University of
Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Bill Trott and Lisa Shumaker)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.