Current deputy chief counsel and director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit, Brian Wilton, will serve as general counsel for New Jersey Transit, effective mid-September.
This is a newly created position recommended as a high priority by the 2018 North Highland Audit, according to an Aug. 16 announcement.
Wilton has been director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit since September 2018.
“I am very pleased that Brian Wilton has been selected to serve as NJ Transit’s first General Counsel,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner and NJ Transit Board Chair Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti in a prepared statement. “Having worked closely with Brian at NJ Transit through his role as deputy chief counsel for the Governor’s Authorities Unit, I know that he understands the challenges that NJ Transit faces each and every day. His experience at the agency and his skill as a lawyer will serve NJ Transit well. Establishing a general counsel was one of the highest priority recommendations of the North Highland Audit ordered by this administration in 2018, and Brian is the right person to oversee this new and important office at NJ Transit.”
Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 5 in January 2018 directing the state DOT to undertake a comprehensive strategic, financial and operational assessment aimed at identifying improvements to the agency. The assessment led to a report by the North Highland Co. identifying key areas of change, including the release of a strategic plan as well as streamlining of the organizational structure.
The creation of the Office of General Counsel and other C-suite positions was recommended in the report. Wilton’s appointment fulfills this recommendation and establishes a newly formed in-house legal department at the agency.
As deputy chief counsel and director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit, Wilton has overseen the operations of more than 50 independent state and bi-state agencies on behalf of Murphy. He’s is the point person for the governor on all transportation related issues facing the state and sits on NJ Transit’s board of directors, overseeing the agency.
Prior to his time in public service, Wilton was co-managing partner of the Wilton Law Firm and served as municipal prosecutor for the boroughs of Freehold and Red Bank. He was previously mayor of the Borough of Lake Como from January 2015 to July 2018.
Wilton’s successor in the Governor’s Authorities Unit will be named in the coming weeks.