The Real Deal New York

Gov. Christie’s top Lt. allegedly tied Sandy aid to development

January 19, 2014 12:00PM

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rockefeller Group CEO Atsushi Nakajima

WEEKENDEDITION Two of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s top lieutenants are being accused of denying Hoboken hurricane aid over delayed redevelopment plans, by Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer.

According to Zimmer, New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and a second official threatened to deny Hoboken millions in Hurricane Sandy relief unless a redevelopment proposal from the Rockefeller Group was approved. The ultimatum was allegedly given to Zimmer on May 13 in the parking lot of a Hoboken ShopRite, according to the New York Daily News.

Guadagno “pulled me aside … and she said, ‘I know it’s not right, I know these things should not be connected, but they are. And if you tell anyone, I’ll deny it,’ ” Zimmer said.

“I mean,” Zimmer added, “the bottom line is it’s not fair for the governor to hold Sandy funds hostage for the City of Hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer.”

Both Christie and the Rockefeller Group have denied the accusations.

The Rockefeller Group hopes to develop a three-acre parcel in Hoboken, and hired former Christie cabinet officer Lori Grifa as a lobbyist. Moreover, Rockefeller’s law firm, Wolff & Samson, is home to Port Authority Chairman David Samson, a Christie appointee. [NYDN]Christopher Cameron

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