NEW SCANDAL ON SANDY AID TIED TO DEVELOPER APPROVAL IN HOBOKEN ?
Mayor Zimmer says two Christie staffers did exactly that including the Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno
In a blockbuster interview this morning on MSNBC, Mayor Dawn Zimmer accused the Christie Administration of attempting to trade on assistance to Hoboken for approval of a massive potentially billion dollar development by the Rockefeller Group.
The Mayor spoke of a meeting with Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno where she was flatly told she needed to approve a massive development by the Rockefeller Group and if she didn’t, Sandy aid to Hoboken would not be forthcoming.
The mayor alleged the Lt. Gov. told her this in-person and it would be denied if she mentioned it publicly.
A state spokesperson has denied the allegation.
The story sure to become a national issue follows the controversy over lane closures in Ft. Lee to the George Washington Bridge.
The Rockefeller Group issued a statement denying any involvement in the alleged scheme saying if true it would be “deplorable.”
“It’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the city of Hoboken because he wants support for one private developer..” Mayor Zimmer
This story is BREAKING. The full story is available here:
From the story:
There was no response to that letter, dated May 8 of last year, the same day theHoboken Planning Board did not adopt the redevelopment recommendation for the Rockefeller property.
Two days later, Zimmer got a call from the Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno, who wanted to come to town to do an event at a ShopRite to spotlight businesses that had recovered from the storm.
On May 13, Guadagno and Zimmer met at the Hoboken ShopRite. That is where, Zimmer said, Guadagno delivered the first message about the relief aide.
Zimmer shared this diary entry which she said she wrote later that day. “At the end of a big tour of ShopRite and meeting, she pulls me aside with no one else around and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It is 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, and if you tell anyone, I will deny it.”
The second warning, according to Zimmer, came four days later. She and Constable, who now led Christie’s department of community affairs, were seated together on stage for a public television special on Sandy recovery.
Again, Zimmer provided this diary entry from May 17, which she said captured the incident.
“We are mic’ed up with other panelists all around us and probably the sound team is listening. And he says “I hear you are against the Rockefeller project”. I reply “I am not against the Rockefeller project; in fact I want more commercial development in Hoboken.” “Oh really? Everyone in the State House believes you are against it – the buzz is that you are against it. If you move that forward, the money would start flowing to you” he tells me.
Constable, through a spokeswoman, said Zimmer’s recollection was “categorically false.” Publicly, Zimmer has not spoken out against either Constable or Christie and the governor’s office was quick to point to two supportive tweets she wrote about the governor.
In the diary entry she shared, Zimmer concluded with these lines:
“My beloved governor who wants to run for President. I cannot understand it. Why is he so concerned about Rockfeller? What has he promised them? What have they promised him? I cannot figure it out but I have no option but to stand up to him.”
Related: The Rockefeller Group had previously attempted to push for a massive development in northwest Hoboken featuring a 40 story centerpiece.
MSV covered the story back in the summer of 2010,
“Hey Rockefeller, there’s a new sheriff in town.”