Audit Finds New Jersey Turnpike Authority Gave Excessive Perks to Employees

by Associated Press
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New Jersey Turnpike
MPD01605, flickr

Auditors say the New Jersey Turnpike Authority paid its employees $30 million in unjustified bonuses and squandered millions on health insurance while tolls increased.

The Comptroller's Office audit released Tuesday says taxpayers also picked up the tab for free E-ZPass transponders, scholarships for workers' kids, an employee bowling league and more.

The audit shows turnpike authority employees got bonuses and overtime for working their birthdays and holidays. Some were paid extra for removing snow. In all, the audit found $43 million in wasteful spending in 2008 and 2009.

Comptroller Matt Boxer says the excesses happened as tolls increased on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway in 2008. They're slated to rise again in 2012. The Turnpike Authority could not immediately be reached for comment.

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