Business & Finance

Supporters gather in Newark to speak out against NJTransit's treatment of small businessman

Russell Graddy speaks during a press conference outside of NJTransit's headquarters in Newark.

Activists and community leaders rallied today in support of small businessman Russell Graddy, who says the New Jersey Transit owes him more than $1 million after the state agency reneged on a promise to let him run a restaurant in Atlantic City’s bus terminal. 

At a press conference in front of New Jersey Transit’s headquarters in Newark, supporters of Graddy blamed the agency for mistreating the 85-year old businessman and called on the agency to make Mr. Graddy a just offer.

“The system requires that when we ride their buses, we pay the fare,” Canaan Baptist Pastor Barry Graham said. “When we make an agreement, all we ask is that [New Jersey Transit] do just and abide by their agreement.”

Sign Up for E-News

Graddy, who runs Mr. G’s diner in Paterson and who has long been a staple of his community, first ran into trouble with the agency in the late 1990s while running a souvenir and snack shop in the old, city-owned Atlantic City bus terminal. New Jersey Transit promised Mr. Graddy, he says, to relocate him in a new terminal it was building to be opened in 2003 and compensate him for the time his business would be closed. 

Graddy agreed and handed over the keys to the agency. The store was stripped of its new stoves, refrigerators and grills — an investment of nearly $1 million — and moved it all to an undisclosed storage space. Meanwhile, Graddy continued paying rent on the property for 22 months.

The planned terminal was never built and eventually NJTransit opened a terminal at North Ohio and Atlantic avenues, where it is currently located Graddy was never given the opportunity to move to the new location. He has also been denied access to his equipment.

Activists on Monday showed resolve to continue supporting Mr. Graddy until New Jersey Transit lives up to its agreement. 

“This man and his family have been humiliated,” said Jamie Bland of the National Action Network. “We will not stop until we receive justice for Mr. Russell Graddy.”

In 2007, Mr. Graddy won an arbitrator’s decision that he be paid $1.3 million. But he has yet to receive any compensation after a state Superior Court Judge ruled that New Jersey Transit was’t responsible for payment because Graddy’s agreement was with the Atlantic City Alliance and the Casino Redevelopment Authority, not New Jersey Transit directly. 

But Stan Matthews, a consultant working on behalf of Mr. Graddy, called this a diversion.

Matthews asked: “How can New Jersey Transit ask him to move, receive the keys, send agents to take everything apart and then say we are not responsible for the whereabouts of your property?”

A New Jersey Transit spokesperson stated “On the advice of counsel, we cannot comment,” when reached by TAPInto Newark.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Traffic shifts this weekend as bridge replacement project advances

March 1, 2018

Newark, NJ—New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced Thursday a long-term traffic shift on I-280 eastbound and I-280 westbound starting this weekend to allow for bridge replacement work to advance to the final stage in construction of the I-280 and Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project in Newark.

Beginning Friday, March 2, the NJDOT is scheduled to ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

March 14, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey welcome first African-American leader in its history

PISCATAWAY - One of the largest Girl Scout councils in New Jersey, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ), today announced the appointment of longtime advocate of girl empowerment and Girl Scouting, Natasha Hemmings, to Chief Executive Officer. Hemmings will take the GSHNJ helm on April 9.

Hemmings, a Piscataway resident who holds a Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers ...

Trees Have Sex? Rutgers Researchers Have All the Answers

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia. 


“They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ...

How Can NJ Legalize Marijuana Before Updating its Liquor Laws from the Dark Ages?

February 26, 2018

In Trenton, did you know it’s illegal to throw a bad pickle on the street, or that men in New Jersey are banned from knitting during fishing season?

Sure, there are plenty of silly, outdated laws on the books.

Here is another wacky one: Supermarket chains in New Jersey are prevented from acquiring more than two liquor licenses.

Huh? Why??

That law harks back to the Kennedy ...