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Weinstein resigns as NJ Transit's top exec; Christie installs Hakim as successor

New Jersey Transit Executive Director James Weinstein announced yesterday in a letter to agency employees that he will resign at month's end. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie named Veronique "Ronnie" Hakim to succeed Weinstein, effective March 1.

Weinstein's resignation follows two recent controversies at the agency. Prior to Hurricane Sandy's strike in October 2012, the agency left rail cars and locomotives in low-lying rail yards during the storm, which resulted in about $100 million worth of damage.

And earlier this month, NJ Transit came under heavy criticism after the agency under-estimated ridership projections for the Super Bowl, which was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Ridership was more than double what the agency estimated for game day, causing heavy delays for passengers heading to and from the game.

Currently executive director of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Hakim will be succeeded by Joseph Mrozek, currently deputy commissioner at the New Jersey  Department of Transportation, according to a press release from Christie's office. Hakim previously served the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for more than 23 years in various roles, including special counsel for MTA New York City Transit and executive vice president and general counsel for MTA Capital Construction.

"Both Ronnie and Joe have been effective, capable professionals who focus relentlessly on getting the job done for our state. I want to thank each of them for their willingness to continue to serve the people of New Jersey in these new roles," said Christie. "I also want to thank Jim Weinstein for his dedication and service through our entire first term together."

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More News from 2/19/2014