Dawn Zimmer (D), Mayor of Hoboken, has accused the office of Governor Chris Christie of using the allocation of relief funds for the damage done by Hurricane Sandy to extort political favors. She spoke to NBC host Steve Kornaki on Saturday telling him that she was pressured by the governor’s office to fast-track a proposed development project in the city, and that the lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno had suggested to her that Sandy relief funds would hang in the balance until she did so.
The governors office has denied any such thing ever happened and said that Hoboken had already received more than $70 million with more to come and that no one ever suggested that the funds would be withheld unless the project was approved.
Zimmer says that most of the money the city has received came directly from the federal government, most of that went directly to home owners not the city. That money was never under the governor’s control. All that has come from the state so far is about $350 thousand, according to the mayor.
While the governor’s office stands firm that nothing of the sort ever happened, Zimmer has produced a contemporaneous journal entry which reads:
[box type=”shadow”]”She pulls me aside and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It’s very important to the governor. The word is that you are against it and you need to move forward or we are not going to be able to help you. I know it’s not right. These things should not be connected. But they are, she says.”[/box]
Days after the lt. Governor spoke to her another top Christie aide, Richard Constable, the current commissioner of community affairs also approached her about the project with the same threats, the mayor said.
The project in question is led by the Rockefeller Group, represented by the law firm of Port Authority Chairman David Samson, Wolff & Samson. Samson, a close Christie ally is also implicated in the lane closure scandal at the George Washington Bridge.
The allegations are going to be looked into by both houses of the New Jersey legislature. The assembly has already convened its panel to look into the matter and the Senate has announced that it too is putting together a committee to investigate.
Zimmer is a one time Christie supporter who made another entry in her journal which reads:
[box type=”shadow”]”I thought he was moral, this week I found out that he’s cut from the same corrupt cloth that I have been fighting for the last four years…it literally brings tears to my eyes.”[/box]
Watch the NBC report in the video below.
h/t: Business Insider