TRENTON — The Christie administration withheld millions of dollars in Superstorm Sandy recovery grants from a New Jersey city because its mayor refused to sign off on a politically connected commercial development, the mayor said Saturday.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Gov. Chris Christie's lieutenant governor and a top community development official told her recovery funds would flow to her city if she allowed the project to move forward.
Zimmer said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno pulled her aside at an event in May and told her Sandy aid was tied to the project — a proposal from the New York City-based Rockefeller Group aimed at prime real estate in the densely populated city across the river from New York City.
"I was directly told the by the lieutenant governor — she made it very clear — that the Rockefeller project needed to move forward or they wouldn't be able to help me," Zimmer told The Associated Press.
Christie's office denied Zimmer's claims. Spokesman Colin Reed said the administration has been helping Hoboken secure assistance since Sandy struck.
Christie is already embroiled in another scandal involving traffic jams apparently manufactured to settle a political score.