Longtime DRPA general counsel to retire

By Jon Campisi | Apr 10, 2012

The Delaware River Port Authority has announced the retirement of its longtime general counsel, a Philadelphia resident and former city prosecutor who has headed the legal department at the bi-state agency for more than two decades.

The DRPA, a regional transportation agency that operates four bridges and a light rail line between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, announced in a news release that Richard Brown, who has served as the agency’s general counsel and corporate secretary for 22 years, will soon be stepping down and will be replaced by Danielle Peyakovich McNichol, former counsel to the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.

Brown, 68, who resides in Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, said in a statement that he has witnessed much change at the bi-state agency during his tenure, and he believes the DRPA is moving in a “positive direction.”

The agency announced that the board of commissioners is expected to appoint McNichol as new general counsel during its April 18 meeting.

McNichol’s appointment would become official following a review of the commissioners’ meeting minutes by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the agency stated.

Brown will likely remain in his position with the DRPA until early July to help with transition.

“I look forward to the challenges and the opportunities I’m certain to face as general counsel to the largest bi-state transportation agency on the Delaware River,” McNichol, 43, a resident of Glen Mills, Pa., said in a statement. “I find change invigorating, and I feel fortunate to be working for a public agency in transition.”

McNichol began working for the DRPA as deputy general counsel on April 4, according to the agency. She has served as an associate vice president of human resources for the Temple University Health System and as counsel to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

McNichol also has experience in private practice.

Brown earned an annual salary of $190,000 as general counsel to the DRPA and McNichol will be paid approximately $170,000, the agency announced.

The DRPA operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, which cross the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The agency also owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the RiverLink Ferry.

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