News / USA

Christie's No. 2 Denies Linking Sandy Funds to Development

FILE - Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno hold a news conference after visiting residents and touring flood damaged areas from Superstorm Sandy in Moonachie, New Jersey, November 2012.
FILE - Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno hold a news conference after visiting residents and touring flood damaged areas from Superstorm Sandy in Moonachie, New Jersey, November 2012.
Reuters
New Jersey's lieutenant governor on Monday denied a claim by the mayor of Hoboken that Governor Chris Christie's administration linked release of Superstorm Sandy relief funds to approval of a Hoboken development project.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno warned her that Christie would withhold disaster recovery funding if Zimmer did not support a bid by the New York-based Rockefeller Group to build on several blocks in the New Jersey city.

The Democratic mayor's claim has added to political woes for Christie, who is widely seen as a Republican contender for the White House in 2016. Christie already is grappling with a scandal tied to his top aides who seemingly punished the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, by orchestrating chaotic traffic jams at the George Washington Bridge.

Christie has been on a fundraising trip in Florida over the weekend. His spokesman has dismissed the Hoboken mayor's claims as false, as did Guadagno on Monday at a public appearance in Union Beach, New Jersey.

“Mayor Zimmer's version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false, but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined,” said Guadagno.

“Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false,” she said, adding, “Being a Sandy victim myself makes the mayor's allegations particularly offensive to me.”

In response, the Hoboken mayor said she was “genuinely disappointed” that Christie's second-in-command “would deny linking Hoboken's application for Sandy hazard mitigation funding with expediting a private development project.”

Zimmer, who said she met on Sunday with members of the U.S. Attorney's Office for New Jersey, also said she gave them her journal, which describes her conversation with Guadagno.

“I stand by my word, remain willing to testify under oath, and I will continue to answer any questions asked of me by the U.S. Attorney's Office,” she said in a statement.

Zimmer has said she and the lieutenant governor discussed the Sandy funds in a parking lot before an event in Hoboken in May.

Recounting that conversation on CNN on Sunday, Zimmer said: “The lieutenant governor said, essentially: 'You've got to move forward with the Rockefeller project,”' Zimmer said on Sunday, saying Guadagno called it “a direct message from the governor.”

Zimmer also said she has only received a fraction of the $127 million in relief funds she requested for Hoboken, which is across the Hudson River from Manhattan and was badly flooded by Sandy in late 2012.

The mayor first made her accusations Saturday on MSNBC.

Guadagno said she looked forward to inquiries into the controversy so the truth would emerge. “I deny any suggestions made by Mayor Zimmer that there was ever any condition placed on the release of Sandy funds by me,” she said, adding that she was “surprised that Mayor Zimmer has chosen to mischaracterize the conversation I had with her about development and job creation in Hoboken.”

Christie's weekend trip to Florida to raise money for Republican Governor Rick Scott was his first political trip since his office was engulfed by scandal this month.

Christie - who held a nearly two-hour-long news conference on January 9 in which he said he had been blindsided and humiliated by some of his staff, whom he accused of lying - said in an interview published on Monday by Yahoo News that he expected “to learn from this.”

“I know I will. I don't know exactly what it is yet that I'll learn from it. But when I get the whole story and really try to understand what's going on here, I know I'm going to learn things,” Christie said in the interview conducted Friday by Yahoo.

The political tempest erupted with the release of emails that seemed to show some of his closest aides purposely snarling traffic in Fort Lee by closing two out of three access lanes to the busy bridge linking New Jersey and New York City.

The lane closures appeared to be retribution against Fort Lee's Democratic mayor, who declined to endorse Christie for re-election.

Christie has said he did not know of his aides' plans, and he fired and cut ties with them after their roles were revealed.

Federal prosecutors and both chambers of the state legislature are investigating the lane closings, which occurred without notice for four days in September.

Nearly two dozen New Jersey officials, including most of Christie's inner circle, were served with subpoenas on Friday over the lane closures.

Federal officials also are reviewing Christie's use of about $2 million in storm Sandy relief funds for a tourism campaign that features him and his family. New Jersey Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone requested the probe, saying he was concerned about the bidding process for the marketing campaign.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid