Paula Dow, the former state Attorney General of New Jersey, is used to being at the forefront of growth and development. In fact, she is often the one to implement changes.
In January, Dow, a Democrat, was appointed to a special watchdog position at the embattled bi-state agency--the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey by Republican Gov. Chris Christie. She is also under consideration for a seat as a judge on the Essex County Superior Court—a position that would make her one of the most powerful African Americans in New Jersey.
As the former top legal gun in the Garden State, Dow has been at the helm of some high profile cases in recent years including the Newark schoolyard murders and the indictment and conviction of disgraced former Newark Mayor Sharpe James. In a recent interview with The Network Journal, Dow acknowledged that there are some “major issues” at the Port Authority; however, she was tight-lipped about specifics. “The Port Authority, like a lot of others I’ve worked in, needs a lot of attention at this time,” she said. The Port Authority, among other things, is responsible for work on the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero. The tab for the project has ballooned to more than $11 billion.
Perhaps, some of the issues highlighted by Dow includes a stinging report released in February by an international management consulting firm—Navigant Consulting, that called the agency “dysfunctional” and having “poorly coordinated capital planning processes.” The published report, along with a laundry list of complaints from commuters regarding exorbitant toll hikes and the endless delays and ever increasing tab for the work on the World Trade Center project, have put Dow in the tenuous position of trying to bring the beleaguered agency back on course. But Dow is indeed up for the challenge, as her list of supporters include Christie, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a host of others.
Lastly, in February, the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ) honored Dow for her commitment to enhancing the community and the state of New Jersey. “We must all work together in order to make our communities, safer and stronger,” she said. “It’s not one person’s responsibility, but everyone’s’!”