The Delaware River Port Authority no doubt wishes we would just forget about that time it spent half a billion dollars on peripheral pork projects. But the commuters who have to cough up an Abraham Lincoln every time they cross the Ben Franklin - or trudge up a PATCO line stairway because the agency forgot to pay the escalator guy - endure frequent reminders of the 15-year squandering spree.
Fortunately, federal authorities aren't letting it go, either. They served several subpoenas on DRPA officials last week, including at least three members of the board that runs the bistate bridge and rail agency. The Inquirer's Paul Nussbaum reported that the so-called economic-development spending seems to be of interest.
The probe is welcome given the glaring absence of consequences so far for the irresponsible leadership of the DRPA, some of which has not changed since the bottom of the pork barrel was finally reached in 2011.
Moreover, despite promises of reform, the agency has been painfully unable to police itself. Consider the continuing standoff between the agency's top officials and its inspector general, Thomas Raftery. The watchdog post is sorely needed, and chief executive John Matheussen's efforts to defang it have been indefensible.
Unfortunately, though, Raftery gave his critics ammunition by hiring a law firm that includes the wife of DRPA Chairman David Simon, a Raftery ally, to represent him in the internal fight. The conflict should disqualify the firm from any agency work.