Port Authority: WTC name sale 'shameful episode' - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Port Authority: WTC name sale 'shameful episode'

Posted: Updated:

DAVID PORTER | AP

NEW YORK (AP) — The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on Wednesday called a deal that sold the World Trade Center's name rights to a nonprofit organization for $10 decades ago "a shameful episode" and vowed to cooperate with an anticipated investigation by New York's attorney general.

A newspaper report this month revealed that the name rights were sold to former Port Authority executive Guy Tozzoli in his role as head of the nonprofit World Trade Centers Association, formed to promote international trade. The Port Authority, which owns the lower Manhattan land where the Twin Towers stood before Sept. 11, 2001, is among more than 300 worldwide members that pay the WTCA a fee to use the words "World Trade Center."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has criticized the deal. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he has referred the matter to state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to determine whether the WTCA "properly acquired from the Port Authority and developed the exclusive rights to the World Trade Center brand" and whether Tozzoli or others "improperly received the benefit of such intellectual property without right" at the expense of the Port Authority and taxpayers.

At a Port Authority board meeting on Wednesday, executive director Patrick Foye called the contract "a shameful episode," and board chairman David Samson said it appears "troubling." But neither could say with specificity who signed off on it.

The Record newspaper, of Woodland Park, N.J., reported in its initial story on the deal that a board secretary had signed off, and on Wednesday Samson said the original transaction "was approved by a prior board commissioner." Foye said it was approved by Port Authority officers but not by the full board of commissioners. Foye added that the Port Authority's executive director at the time of the deal, Stephen Berger, told him he hadn't signed off on it.

Samson said he had referred the matter to the Port Authority's audit committee and counsel.

"Just off the surface facts, this appears to be troubling," Samson said. "We're going to take a careful look at it."

The World Trade Center had been standing for more than 15 years by the time the rights were sold, and the brand already was valuable, Foye noted. Its value has grown exponentially since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The Record reported that in exchange for the Port Authority's use of the trademark on merchandise, which the newspaper estimated could bring the Port Authority up to $28 million annually, the WTCA is requesting free office space worth an estimated $585,000 per year at the rebuilt World Trade Center site.

Tozzoli died in February, and the WTCA said Wednesday that no one there was available to comment.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Temperature drops; snow moves in

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:59 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:59:53 GMT
    Fox 5 photoFox 5 photo
    The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds were expected. Reports of heavy, wet snow have come in from the Hudson Valley, northern New Jersey and New York City. The snow is not expected to accumulate for very long.
    The mild weather made an exit in the Tristate region and snow moved in late Tuesday into Wednesday. Scattered showers, heavier rain, thunderstorms, and strong winds were expected. Reports of heavy, wet snow have come in from the Hudson Valley, northern New Jersey and New York City. The snow is not expected to accumulate for very long.
  • Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Robert De Niro says Tribeca Film Festival is his passion

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-04-16 02:47:46 GMT
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
    Robert De Niro is a family man, a filmmaker, an entrepreneur and one of my favorite actors of all time. He's also a co-founder of the Tribeca Film Festival, which has more to see than ever before. De Niro wears just as many hats on screen as he does in real life. The father of six starred in six films last year, owns four restaurants and a hotel, and still finds time each spring for the Tribeca Film Festival, Lower Manhattan's annual cinematic showcase.
  • NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    NYPD ends Muslim surveillance program

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:36:21 GMT
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
    A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday. NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices