Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer leveled some serious allegations against Governor Chris Christie this morning, claiming that Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and two Department of Community Affairs (DCA) officials stated she would not receive substantial Hurricane Sandy funding unless she approved a Hoboken development project for a politically connected developer.
Zimmer, a Democrat who did not an endorse a candidate for November’s gubernatorial race, dropped the bombshell on MSNBC this morning.
“She (Guadagno) pulls me aside and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It’s very important to the governor,” Zimmer recalled when the two were together at an event in Hoboken in May. ”
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. ‘If you tell anyone I said it, I will deny it.’”
Zimmer said DCA commissioner Richard Constable delivered a similar message shortly afterwards.
“The buzz is that you are against it (the Rockefeller project),” he allegedly told her. “If you move that forward, the money would start flowing to you.”
Additionally, Zimmer claimed in the interview that an ex-DCA commissioner, Lori Grifa, helped Hoboken obtain a $75,000 grant from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to fund a study on a 19-block undeveloped area in Hoboken back in 2010.
However, the results of the study indicated that the only blocks that should be developed for the Mile Square City were those owned by the Rockefeller Group.
Further connecting the Port Authority to the development is the fact that the Rockefeller Group was being represented by legal counsel David Samson – the same Samson who is the Chairman of the Port Authority.
Both a spokesman from Governor Christie’s office and Constable himself denied Zimmer’s accusations. However, Zimmer told Kornecki she kept diary records to keep track of the incident and would be happy to go to any and all extremes to prove that her claims are the truth.
“I’d be more than willing to testify under oath and – and answer any questions and provide any documents, take a lie detector test,” Zimmer told Kornecki in response to her claims being brushed off. “And, you know, my question back to them is, ‘Would all of you? Would all of you be willing do that same thing, to testify under oath, to take a lie detector test?’”
The latest development in the feud between Zimmer and Christie comes just one week after the mayor hinted to a New York radio station WNYC 93.9 FM that Hoboken may have been retaliated against since she would not endorse Christie.
Whether the latest allegations against the governor can be proved or not, it could not come at a much worse time for Christie as his office and many officials connected to him have been subpoenaed by the Assembly investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal.