The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

January 18, 2014

Mayor: Christie aides tied Sandy funds to project

(Continued)

TRENTON, N.J. —

A state website that tracks the distribution of Sandy aid shows that Hoboken received a $200,000 post-storm planning grant in October out of a $1.8 billion pot of money controlled by the state. Hoboken also received a $142,000 state energy resilience grant.

Besides state money, Hoboken has received $70 million in recovery funds distributed by the federal government, according to the Christie administration. Zimmer said she has applied for $100 million to implement a comprehensive plan to help insulate her city from future floods.

Christie already is embroiled in another scandal involving traffic jams apparently manufactured to settle a political score. At a recent news conference to discuss the lane closures on the approach to the George Washington Bridge, Christie brushed aside questions about his aggressive governing style. "I am who I am," said Christie, "I am not a bully."

But Zimmer said Guadagno and Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, a member of Christie's cabinet, both delivered messages about Sandy aid in no uncertain terms.

Zimmer, who first spoke with MSNBC on Saturday, told the cable network that at another event in May, Constable said "the money would start flowing to you" if she backed the project.

The Rockefeller Group did not immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press. In a statement to MSNBC, a spokesman said it had no knowledge of any information related to Zimmer's claims.

Zimmer, a Democrat, said she is willing to take a lie detector test or testify under oath about the conversations.

Christie's office called Zimmer's claims a political move.

"Gov. Christie and his entire administration have been helping Hoboken get the help they need after Sandy," Reed said. "It's very clear partisan politics are at play here as Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television."

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