NJ Governor Nominates Waterfront Commission Member

NJ Governor Nominates Waterfront Commission Member

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has nominated Michael Murphy, a lobbyist and former county prosecutor, to the Waterfront Commisson of New York Harbor.

Murphy will succeed Jan Gilhooly as New Jersey commissioner on the bistate agency, which was created in 1953 to root out crime on the New York-New Jersey docks. The New York commissioner is Ronald Goldstock, former head of the state organized crime task force.

The Waterfront Commission has been locked in a bitter dispute with the New York Shipping Association and International Longshoremen’s Association over procedures for hiring dockworkers. The commission and industry have blamed each other for delays in hiring.

The NYSA and ILA last November filed a federal court lawsuit accusing the commission of trying to micromanage implementation of the NYSA-ILA collective bargaining agreement, which sets aside 51 percent of new jobs for military veterans.

The commission insists its oversight of hiring is an effort to increase workplace diversity. The NYSA and ILA say their workforce already is more than one-third black or Hispanic. The commission has asked U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton to dismiss the lawsuit.

Murphy is co-founder and managing partner of Impact NJ LLC, a New Jersey lobbying firm. He has served as Morris County prosecutor and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination for New Jersey governor in 1997.

Contact Joseph Bonney at jbonney@joc.com and follow him on Twitter: @josephbonney.