Sunday, January 06, 2002

Criminal Charges for the Delaware River Bay Authority?

Delaware's involvement with the multistate Delaware River Bay Authority (DRBA) creates many questions. One of the largest is how much supervisory power the State has over the entity. Is the River Bay Authority above the law? If two states work together to create an extra-state organization that oversees the use of a shared resource, can that created organization be said to be a government agency? Is it subject to the laws of both states? Some of the DRBA's actions give the appearance that they believe themselves to be above the law.

A recently discovered abuse by the DRBA is the disclosure that they have contributed money to a golf tournament that benefits the political action committee of the State Chamber of Commerce. A committee which supports state and local candidates. The money contributed is public money.

Not only does Delaware law forbid a governmental agency contributing to political groups, but it can impose a fine up to $2,300.00 and up to a year in prison.

The Delaware River Bay Authority says that the Delaware law does not apply to them. Since New Jersey doesn't have a similar law on their books, the Authority contends that they are not bound by the Delaware law.

Maybe it's time to sit down with New Jersey, and reconsider different aspects of the charter of the Delaware River Bay Authority.
- William Slawski