Cuomo Taps Patrick Foye as MTA Chairman

The governor also announced four new board members


Governor Andrew Cuomo revealed today that Metropolitan Transportation Authority President Patrick Foye will become the agency’s chairman.

Cuomo said in an interview on WCNY’s Capital Pressroom that Foye would replace acting chairman, Fernando Ferrer, who took over the job after Joe Lhota resigned in November 2018. Lhota quit amid controversy that his other job as chief of staff to NYU Langone Health created a conflict of interest with his position at the MTA.  

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Foye was appointed president of the MTA by Cuomo in 2017 after a six-year stint as executive director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The longtime bureaucrat is known for ordering New Jersey officials to reopen the Manhattan-bound lanes of the George Washington Bridge in 2013 while they were closed during the political scandal that became known as Bridgegate.

“As a lifelong rider—and a daily customer—of the MTA, I can think of no higher honor or more important challenge than serving at the helm of an agency that connects millions of people each day to their jobs, schools, families, and friends,” Foye said in a statement from the MTA. “There is no question that we have a great deal of work ahead of us, to bring truly innovative and meaningful reform to the agency and provide the service and system New Yorkers deserve.”

Sources told Politico New York that Foye is “one of the last officials in Cuomoland who does not depend on the governor for personal advancement,” because he is wealthy after a long career handling mergers and acquisitions as a partner at law firm Skadden Arps. He has also been a vice president at real estate investment trust AIMCO and a deputy secretary for economic development under Cuomo. However, Foye’s appointment is still subject to state senate approval.

The governor also announced four new MTA board members today—Haeda Mihaltses, Michael Lynton, Rhonda Herman and Kevin Law, according to a release from the governor’s office. Mihaltses is currently the vice president of external affairs for the New York Mets and spent 12 years as then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s director of intergovernmental affairs. Lynton serves on the board of Snap, Inc., Warner Music Group and Pearson and was formerly the CEO of Sony Entertainment. Herman works at the Internal Revenue Service and has been on the Metro-North Railroad Commuter Council since 2008. Law is the president and CEO of the Long Island Business Association and was appointed to co-chair the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council by Cuomo in 2011.

“I vowed not to pass a budget without a comprehensive plan to reform the MTA’s bureaucracy,” Cuomo said in the press release. “The MTA needs a board that will oversee and manage the transit system so it can best serve its riders, and this critical component of the MTA reform plan will ensure an unmatched level of accountability that New Yorkers deserve.”