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NJ Comptroller Says NJ Turnpike Authority Is Throwing Away Money

TRENTON, NJ (CBS) -- A newly released audit says the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million even as it raised tolls two years ago on the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

According to New Jersey comptroller Matthew Boxer, most of the wasted money went to workers and managers alike:

"A good portion of that was in employee bonuses that were paid to the tune of $30 million over a two-year period during which the Authority was otherwise financially experiencing great difficulty."

And while drivers paid higher tolls, Boxer says, workers and managers rode to and from work for free. They also got bonuses on top of overtime for snow removal, and the state paid for unused sick and vacation time, scholarships for employees' kids, even the cost of an employee bowling league.

Many of those perks were negotiated in union contracts that are up for renewal next year. Tolls are scheduled to go up -- again -- in 2012.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio.

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