Ex-Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official praised after Sept. 11 attacks dies

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A 41-year veteran of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey praised for his leadership after the Sept. 11 terror attacks has died. Ernesto Butcher was 69.

The Port Authority says Butcher suffered a heart attack while walking near his Maplewood, New Jersey, home and died Thursday.

Butcher retired in 2012 as the Port Authority's chief operating officer, a title he'd held since 2000. Before that he had held numerous positions including director of tunnels, bridges and terminals. He began as a management trainee in 1971.

Port Authority executive director Patrick Foye in a message to employees praises Butcher's role in the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero and his work ensuring Port Authority facilities remained open and secure following the 2001 attacks.