Dan Weiller, the former spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has been named as director of public affairs for the state Thruway Authority and the Canal Corp., the agency announced today.
Weiller, who is leaving the lobbying and public relations firm of Patricia Lynch Associates, will be charged in particular to communications related to the new Tappan Zee Bridge, according to the Thruway Authority.
“Dan Weiller is a seasoned media relations professional with a wide range of experience in and around the state government, and he will play a central role as we continue to move forward with the Tappan Zee Bridge project,” said Chairman Howard Milstein in a statement. “I welcome him to our communications team and look forward to working with him and his team to rebuild a stronger, safer and more reliable state.”
Weiller said in the statement that, “I am grateful for the opportunity to return to work for the people of New York state, and all who depend on the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Thruway and Canal systems.”
Weiller, a Hudson Valley native, is being brought on at a critical time for the Thruway. They are seeking to raise tolls by 45 percent on trucks and are being tasked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to build a new $5 billion Tappan Zee Bridge.
So far, funding for the bridge remains tenuous and there is significant concern in Westchester and Rockland counties about the new tolls and the environmental impact of the new bridge. And Thruway is under warning from credit agencies to bolster its finances.
Weiller had also been a spokesman for the comptroller’s office under former Comptroller Alan Hevesi.