The legal team representing Gov. Christie reached out to Hoboken recently but there’s no Sandy mitigation funding on their mind. The objective sought are documents and an interview with the mayor and four other officials who were aware of the conflict alleged by the mayor regarding Hurricane Sandy relief.
Both the mayor’s lawyer and Hoboken Corporation Counsel declined the request referencing an ongoing federal investigation of the US Attorney’s Office.
Since the allegations emerged regarding Hoboken consenting to a billion dollar development project in the northwest tied to Sandy aid, additional questions have been raised about state directed hurricane relief given to other New Jersey municipalities where damages were far less than Hoboken but millions more were spent.
Almost $5 million was directed to a New Brunswick luxury tower approved eight months by its planning board before Hurricane Sandy hit. A Rutgers study placed New Brunswick 254 on a list of New Jersey towns hit hardest after Hurricane Sandy.
But it’s the latest escalation in a war emerging with lawyers coming to the fore on behalf of the governor who are looking to interject themselves into an ongoing investigation commenced earlier by the US Attorney’s Office.
The mayor herself has been subjected to national partisan attacks. Former Republican National Chair Haley Barbour dismissed her in an interview as the “lady mayor.” In another national story, the mayor ‘s actions were questioned by “ethnic cleansing” attorney Louis Zayas who equated her note taking in meetings to personal diary entries claiming the two were one and the same and she had not answered truthfully in a deposition.
Previous criticism the mayor had told no one of the quid pro quo for state aid after Sandy have been undermined with news up to four Hoboken officials knew of the alleged scheme and all have been interviewed by federal agents of the US Attorney’s Office in Newark.
Interviews were partly completed only a day after the mayor went public with her allegations against Christie officials. Legal observers have noted unlike the allegations surrounding the closure of lanes at the George Washington Bridge, Mayor Zimmer’s allegations involve federal funds making the potential for wrongdoing far more serious.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer in City Hall refuses to yield to mega development hijacking Hoboken. Based on recent allegations, she has taken on all comers including a popular governor defending Hoboken’s sovereignty.
Talking Ed Note: There will be no more hugging it out between the governor and Hoboken mayor. Beyond the obvious, let’s add that most in Hoboken recognized Mayor Zimmer had little to gain in exposing the City to the wrath of Governor Christie who directs federal block grants to municipalities in addition to state aid.
There may be losses in the state aid Hoboken receives annually adding to a tight budget even with Mayor Zimmer and a aligned reform council running a tight ship since taking the reigns in 2009. The mayor must have recognized all this when she went public but clearly saw Hoboken’s sovereignty weighing in the balance with a billion dollar project by the Rockefeller Group breathing down the Mile Square City’s neck.
Since that news went public, the monster on the southern end, NJ Transit is reported to have been secretly working with the Rockefeller Group to move forward with Hoboken development plans turning Hoboken into something resembling midtown Manhattan.
Related: The Hudson County political website, “Hangin’ on the Vine” has more on all of this and the recent foray reported into Bayonne by Beth Mason’s favored political operative who was allegedly a ready mole for insertion into the mayoral campaign opponent to Mayor Mark Smith.
MSV has no idea on the author of the Vine, so stop asking. Da Horsey thinks it’s a good idea to have a muckraker looking over HudCo. That’s a big and perhaps dangerous job but it’s absolutely needed.
Da Horsey can’t say the Hoboken operation was part of a mole campaign. Sometimes it’s the obvious answer not a conspiracy, in this case incompetence. Bayonne’s mayoral campaign does however reek of a certain fishy odor and it stinks from the head down starting with Beth Mason.
Mason has been reported to have aligned herself with the HCDO for a long time as she seeks to purchase any available county office and gave more than $50,000 to the failed re-election bid of former Mayor Healy in Jersey City. She’s been cozying up to Mark Smith in Bayonne for a good spell too.
Mason’s year plus efforts to buy an Assembly seat with Union City Mayor Brian Stack’s backing last year ended in failure. She’s eyed the County Executive seat held by Tom DeGise but any conversation attempted has been instantly rebuffed. Others say after the phone line is disconnected, there’s been much laughter at the idea throughout Hudson County.
Beth Mason has lots of “executive” experience with an entity she created called Newton, Lao, Leonard & Locke. Some suspect the shell company is a front for distributing monies to numerous Mason political operatives with no legitimate business activity of any kind.
Does that qualify you for County Executive? If shades of illicit activity is number one on your list then maybe Beth Mason deserves a chance.