Dormitory Authority of the State of New York executive director David Brown4th announced his resignation, making him the second major public authority head to step down yesterday. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive director Anthony Shorris also announced his resignation.
Both men were chosen by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and confirmed by the respective authority boards.
Brown, 49, informed Gov. David Paterson's office and DASNY staff yesterday that he was leaving to become a principal in an environmental investment company in the Boston area.
"He's not being pushed out, he's being drawn to a new opportunity," said DASNY spokesman Marc Violette.
Under Brown's tenure, the authority began a review of its business practices, hiring four financial advisors to make recommendations that could in part make the authority more competitive with the state's industrial development agencies.
DASNY took two steps toward that end this year when it lowered its fees and when it adopted a two-tiered system that gave more flexibility in its financial requirements to highly rated colleges and universities like Columbia University. He also promoted "green" practices for DASNY projects. An idea to create a new credit to handle less highly rated clients was not adopted but Violette said is still alive.
Brown previously served under Spitzer in the attorney general's office where he oversaw investigations into the mutual fund and insurance industries. He also worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Deutsche Bank.
Brown will stay on as long as he is needed for a smooth transition, Violette said.
DASNY was third-largest bond issuer in the nation last year.
Paterson has been slowly replacing key officials and cabinet members that he inherited when he succeeded Spitzer, who resigned last month following a prostitution scandal. Other officials who have resigned since Paterson became governor include Lloyd Constantine, a senior adviser who played a key role in Spitzer's public authority reform agenda, and counsel David Nocenti.
The Port Authority's Shorris said in a letter to staff that was published by Newsday that he believed a successor would be chosen at the authority's board meeting next week. Shorris oversaw several large ongoing projects including the construction at Ground Zero, planning for an expansion of a commuter rail tunnel under the Hudson River and the purchase of Stewart Airport.
Shorris was first deputy executive director at the Port Authority between 1990 and 1995, and was on Spitzer's transition team. Prior to his appointment by Spitzer, he was director of Princeton University's Policy Research Institute at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Paterson praised Shorris in a press release.
"With Tony at the helm, the Port Authority also made smart investments in mass transit and devised creative sustainability measures," Paterson said.