Baroni on Hartwyk: He sent me his resignation

TRENTON – The political gamesmanship continued this evening in the case of Port Authority attorney Chris Hartwyk.

A Port Authority official claims Hartwyck indeed sent a resignation email on Monday, but three sources close to Hartwyk are not backing from their claim that Hartwyk never resigned. Hartwyck, called several times today on his cell phone, has not responded to the discrepancy yet.

Hartwyk, cousin of state Sen. Dick Codey, reportedly resigned his position as first deputy counsel to make room for N.J. Attorney General Paula Dow, as Gov. Chris Christie announced on Monday. But three sources close to Hartwyk who claimed to speak on his behalf said Hartwyk insists he never resigned.

A senior official at the Port Authority provided PolitickerNJ with an email sent from Hartwyk’s account on Monday telling a New York Times reporter that the attorney was stepping down to pursue “other professional opportunities.” The three sources said Hartwyk never authorized any press statements on his behalf.

Port Authority Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee, told PolitickerNJ tonight, “On Monday afternoon, Chris Hartwyk sent the New York Times, the general counsel of the Port Authority, and me that email.”

Early Friday, a Port Authority spokesman was asked for comment on the allegations made by the three sources but did not respond.  Several hours after a story ran detailing the allegations, a senior official forwarded the email purportedly written by Hartwyk. 

Baroni wouldn’t comment further this evening, but a senior official at the bi-state agency told PolitickerNJ on condition of anonymity that Hartwyk is an at-will employee and can be removed from employment at any time without approval from the agency’s board.

Previous coverage: Port Authority mishandles job swap hindering Christie cabinet swap

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