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Craig Coy Stepping Down as Massport Chief Executive

Fri June 09, 2006 - Northeast Edition

BOSTON (AP) Craig P. Coy, who stabilized the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, announced May 30 he was resigning to work for a private company focusing on homeland security.

Coy, a 20-year veteran of the Coast Guard and former White House Fellow and adviser on counter terrorism, was portrayed as a silver-haired, senior executive when he was hired in March 2002. He replaced Virginia Buckingham, a well respected but political appointee with little transportation experience who was heading Massport when two commercial jets were hijacked from Logan International Airport and flown into the World Trade Center.

“This unexpected, new opportunity will allow me to continue to focus on homeland security issues, to contribute to measures to protect our transportation infrastructure from the threat of terrorism, and to build on the many other accomplishments we have worked together to achieve here at Massport,” Coy wrote in an e-mail to his staff under the heading, “A Personal Note.”

Coy, who signed a five-year contract extension, announced he had accepted a job at L-3 Communications as president and chief operating officer of its Homeland Securities Group, a job change confirmed by Massport Spokeswoman Danny Levy.

Coy added in his e-mail: “Together, we have accomplished a tremendous amount, including the reorganization of the authority around the concept of business units; completion of the nation’s first ’inline’ hold baggage screening program; and the completion or near completion of construction on Terminal A, the International Gateway, the Terminal Area Roadway system, and Runway 14/32.

“In addition, together we have made significant progress in enhancing the profitability and security of our Maritime operations through, among other things, the implementation of our nationally recognized Maritime Transportation Security Act plan,” said Coy.

The Massachusetts Port Authority is an independent public authority that runs bridges, seaports and airports, including Logan and Hanscom Field in Bedford.

“Craig Coy did an excellent job at Massport, and brought a new level of professionalism to the agency. We’re sorry to be losing him to the private sector,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman of Gov. Mitt Romney, who will appoint a replacement.

The Massport chief executive’s job is a political plum, presiding over a vast empire on land, sea and in the air. The agency has often been derided for patronage, but Coy — a graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Harvard Business School — cultivated a business culture focused on “paradigms” and “metrics,” said former aides.

Under the terms of Coy’s recent contract, he was to be paid $250,000 a year with a promise of 2 percent annual cost of living increases and the potential for bonus pay.

Potential replacements could include Thomas J. Kinton Jr., a Massport veteran who oversees aviation matters, and Ranch Kimball, state secretary of economic development. Romney appointed Kimball to the Massport board in April 2004.

L-3 Communications, headquartered in New York, provides secure communications and transportation technology to clients including the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies and private companies, according to its Web site.

Among its products are flight data and voice recorders, the so-called “black boxes” used to investigate aviation accidents.

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