TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today announced that current Deputy Chief Counsel and Director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit, Brian Wilton, will serve as General Counsel for NJ TRANSIT, a newly created position recommended as a high priority by the 2018 North Highland Audit. Wilton has held wide-ranging responsibilities overseeing New Jersey’s various state authorities as Director of the Governor’s Authorities Unit since September 2018.
“Brian has been one of my closest advisers during the past three years, and his leadership and counsel during the COVID-19 pandemic has been vital,” said Governor Murphy. “As Deputy Chief Counsel and Director of Authorities, Brian has played a key role in the ongoing rebuilding and revitalization of NJ TRANSIT. While we will miss Brian in the front office, I know that he will bring the same professionalism and expertise to NJ TRANSIT that he has exhibited in his current role. I look forward to working with him closely in his new position.”
“For the past three years I have been intimately involved with New Jersey Transit as Director of the Authorities Unit and Board Member,” said Brian Wilton, incoming General Counsel for NJ TRANSIT. “I am looking forward to using my legal and governmental experience to work with Director Corbett and the Board to re-establish the agency as one of the best transit systems in the country.”
“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. “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.”
“I am excited to have Brian join our team at NJ TRANSIT,” said NJ TRANSIT President and CEO Kevin Corbett. “I have been working with Brian since 2018 to transform NJ TRANSIT into an agency that New Jerseyans can rely on to get them to where they need to go in a reliable, efficient, and safe manner. I have seen his commitment to our agency firsthand, and I know that he will serve NJ TRANSIT and those that depend on us well in his new role as General Counsel. This appointment is a reflection of our continued commitment to fulfilling the recommendations of the North Highland Audit, and we will continue to seek ways to improve our practices and build NJ TRANSIT into the nation’s premier public transit agency.”
In January 2018, almost immediately after taking office, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 5, directing the New Jersey Department of Transportation to undertake a comprehensive strategic, financial and operational assessment aimed at identifying improvements to the agency. The assessment, conducted by the North Highland Company, culminated in a report that identified key areas of change including the release of a strategic plan as well as streamlining of the organizational structure. This included a recommendation of the creation of the Office of General Counsel and other C-suite positions to ensure effective decision making. Wilton’s appointment fulfills this high-priority 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 governance and operations of more than 50 independent State and bi-state agencies on behalf of the Governor. In this role, Wilton is the point person for the Governor on all transportation related issues facing the state. As Director of the Authorities Unit, he sits on NJ TRANSIT’s Board of Directors and exercises oversight of the multi-billion dollar agency. Prior to his time in the Murphy Administration, Wilton was co-managing partner of the Wilton Law Firm and served as Municipal Prosecutor for the Boroughs of Freehold and Red Bank. Wilton served as Mayor of the Borough of Lake Como from January 2015 to July 2018, having previously served on the Borough Council for ten years.
Wilton holds a B.A. in History with a minor in Political Science from the University of Scranton and a J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.
Wilton will be joining NJ TRANSIT in mid-September and the Governor’s Office expects to name Wilton’s successor in the coming weeks.