Politics on the waterfront: NJ lawmaker fights to get back his day job
BAYONNE — A Democratic legislator whose longshoreman's work license was revoked because of his frequent absences wants the Waterfront Commission of New York and New Jersey to reconsider their decision.
The commission took away the license of Assemblyman William Sampson, a crane operator for Global Container Terminals, for “failing to meet the work and work availability requirements in January-June 2022." The Bayonne resident told the commission his presence at meetings or events as an assemblyman was “good cause” to miss work.
"I am disappointed that the Waterfront Commission took this action. Respectfully, we have asked the Waterfront Commission to revisit this issue, which to my understanding, it is now so doing," Sampson said in a statement.
Sampson, who represents Bayonne and Jersey City in the 31st Legislative District, said in a statement that he had the blessing of both his employer and the International Longshoremen’s Association, to run for office.
“In both cases, Global and the ILA understood this legislative opportunity as a way to ‘give back’ to the local community through service and to work to provide better training, and to increase the potential of investment in challenged neighborhoods,” Sampson said in his statement. "At no point did either Global or the ILA request that I reduce my obligations to the state Legislature or to the community.”
Sampson said that he has respect for the rule of law and the commission.
A toned-down response
In his earlier reaction to the commission's decision Sampson told NJ Globe that the commission is taking out its frustrations on him over Gov. Phil Murphy’s attempts to shut the commission in the belief it has outlived its usefulness and that New Jersey State Police could take on their responsibilities.
The U.S. Supreme Court will likely decide the commission's fate in 2023.
NJ Globe was first to report on Sampson's request.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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