The NJT Board of Directors has approved the hiring of the Washington lobbying and law firm of Patton Boggs, LLC, to defend the agency against a claim by the Federal Transit Administration for $271 million. The FTA wants NJT to reimburse that sum because of the cancellation of the ARC Project in October. Patton Boggs charges $475.00 per hour for attorney work, and there is no cap on the fees that NJT has committed to pay the firm.
The Lackawanna Coalition objected to the hire, saying that there are qualified attorneys in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office who can defend against the FTA’s claim. These attorneys are already on State salary, so using their services would save the cost of going to an expensive outside firm.