Hoboken Mayor: I Feared No One Would Believe Gov. Office's Sandy Funding Threat

Dawn Zimmer met for several hours Sunday with members of the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said Sunday she kept quiet for months because she feared retaliation if no one believed her claims that Gov. Chris Christie's administration threatened to withhold Sandy funds if a city development project did not move forward.

Zimmer dropped a bombshell on Saturday when she told MSNBC's Steve Kornacki that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno Richard Constable, the current commissioner of community affairs, Lori Grifa, the former commissioner, and others pressured her to approve a city redevelopment project.

The Hoboken mayor appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" and told host Candy Crowley she didn't come forward sooner because she felt no one would believe her and thought it would put Hoboken in a worse position. 

But Zimmer decided to speak out when she saw "parallels" between her situation and the "Bridgegate" scandal.

Christie's office has denied Zimmer's accusations.

Zimmer said she spent several hours Sunday with members of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark at the request of prosecutors.

“As they pursue this investigation, I will provide any requested information and testify under oath about the facts of what happened when the lieutenant governor came to Hoboken and told me that Sandy aid would be contingent on moving forward with a private development project,” Zimmer said in a prepared statement.
Roll Back Our Tax January 20, 2014 at 09:51 PM
Did anyone come to the conclusion the reason the Mayor may have NOT wanted to develop that property is because it stood in flood plain and it would be counterproductive to build anything until $ was allocated by Sandy Relief Fund to build better flood retention walls along the Hudson River? Look at th ariel pictures.
Roll Back Our Tax January 20, 2014 at 09:58 PM
79% of Hoboken now falls into FEMA's new flood plain zone http://betterwaterfront.org/80-of-hoboken-falls-into-femas-new-flood-zone/
Dbc January 21, 2014 at 12:15 AM
I do believe Zimmer didn't come forward earlier because she feared of retribution...why wouldn't she! Only surprised that Port Authority didn't close down the Hoboken lanes to the Lincoln Tunnel! Probably their next move to keep her in line before they got caught for GWB!
cassandra January 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM
A speculative prediction. Christie will remain Governor for the next four years. During that time the Rockerfeller property will be developed under Zimmer rules. The NJ Transit property will be developed however NJ Transit wants. Zimmer will have no say. Result: high towers in the south; 12 story (possibly higher) towers in the north.
melina white January 22, 2014 at 02:18 PM
DBC, as a Mayor who holds others accountable for reporting potential improprieties it is her duty to report.
cassandra January 23, 2014 at 11:19 AM
Interesting comment in NT Times this morning. Zimmer says she ran for office to address climate change.
eyes wide shut January 25, 2014 at 10:28 AM
@Jackie Wilson: He is out polling Hillary???? Umm where you been the last 10 days??? Oh i know in front of YOUR TV watching Fox Noise..Ya the same people that said Romney in a "Landslide" The home of the Rassmussin poll. Was so much fun election night to watch YOUR BOY Karl Rove have his meltdown LIVE...Remember a REAL man does not bully, A REAL man fights bull's....Please catch up with the rest of us...WOW
Bonnie January 25, 2014 at 10:59 AM
Mayor Zimmer should have spoken up at the onset. Why wait? Take a lie detector test now (everyone involved.) Will the proposed Rockefeller Group development(s) address Hoboken's infrastructure problems at little or no cost to Hoboken, regardless of Sandy funds? It's a shame that this matter is front and center just before the Super Bowl. Mean-spirited politicians only care about themselves.
Jack B Goode January 25, 2014 at 05:25 PM
She can't prove anything, move on nothing to see here
Sean Conneamhe January 26, 2014 at 07:24 AM
"Impeach Christie...
Nicholas Robert Homyak January 26, 2014 at 09:40 AM
Why is this so hard to conceive or believe;Christie the Thug, Bully? He is all for private interest; he is not even concerned with NJ Highlands Land use and water protections. He rather see large developers free to cut corners for personal profits and dam the future of water quality & quantity. He uses public housing as a tool to demise NJ Highlands not emphasizing water and proper best practices in land use.
LivinLocal January 26, 2014 at 04:28 PM
Hoboken Mayor Zimmer is simply looking to develop name recognition in an effort to seek higher office. Her claims, if real, should have been broached when they were first encountered. In my opinion, she offers a claim now, only after considering that it would be her word against another in the light of bridge questions. Politics is a dirty business, and for some ambitious politicians, opportunistic, which counts on public apathy and short memories.
300Marshall January 26, 2014 at 06:31 PM
I was told the mayor is celebrating her grandmothers 90th birthday this weekend. Did she get her granny a dairy as a gift?
Martin Rommer January 26, 2014 at 07:57 PM
Uh oh! Democrat lies catching up to them - again! They never learn and shame on the rest of you Dems. http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2014/01/25/ap-hobokens-share-of-sandy-aid-has-been-on-par-with-other-nj-cities-n1784709?utm_source=facebook
Jack B Goode January 27, 2014 at 08:34 AM
i'm shocked! A democrat politician that lies?
Robert Davis January 27, 2014 at 04:29 PM
This is a "she said, she said" issue. The truth is Hoboken got FEMA funding, a lot of it! The Mayor does not support the project. What is there to question?
Pops January 27, 2014 at 06:20 PM
That's not much of an argument, RoDa. The mayor cares about everyone in Hoboken, playing the victim card doesn't fly.
Campaign news January 27, 2014 at 06:27 PM
@Pops, outside of Hoboken they translate this into the usual republicans vs the democrats formula. They have no idea how strong republican support for Zimmer is in Hoboken or how much the old guard have tried to use that as a wedge issue for years.
FAP January 28, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Whoever is posting as Robert Davis please stop, you're making the real Robert Davis look like an idiot.
Ridgewood Mom January 30, 2014 at 06:19 AM
Looks like the evidence is mounting. "Emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration." http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/nyregion/powerful-allies-pushed-a-project-in-new-jersey.html?hp
cassandra January 30, 2014 at 10:28 AM
I recommend that everyone read this article. Basically it shows in detail how the city administration and the Rockerfeller group each pursued its goals. The citys goal was to get funding for the mayor's ambitious multimillion dollar project to protect Hoboken. I found it interesting that the Rockerfeller group hired the Sampson law firm when Corzine was governor. Give it a read. Bottom line: this is the normal legal way city and state interact.
Carol Harrison January 30, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Goals, motives, that is important. Let me repeat something Cassandra said. "The cites goal was to get funding for the mayor's ambitious multimillion dollar project to PROTECT Hoboken." (emphasis mine) Mayor Zimmers motive/goal was to to protect Hoboken. What is Rockerfeller's, oh right to make a killing in real estate.
cassandra January 30, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Carol It is called capitalism. The Rockerfeller group has invested over $100 million dollars in Hoboken. What evidence do you have that they did anything inappropriate. If they did, why did the mayor praise them as described in the article?
Carol Harrison January 30, 2014 at 11:27 AM
Did I say they did anything inappropriate? Made a killing in the market is a common expression, popular with capitalists. I'm just evaluating motives. Motives do not mean illegal activity. This morning I paid my 5 year old a dollar if she would take her medicine without a fuss. My motive? To get the antibiotic in her without a struggle or her spitting it out. I don't like bribing my daughter, but I care about her health. Motive.
cassandra January 30, 2014 at 12:03 PM
Carol You asked a questions "What is Rockerfeller's, oh right to make a killing in real estate. " I answered it. The readers can make their own judgements Reform is good but sometimes refprmers adopt a "holier than thou" attitude. Doesn't help the discussion.
Ridgewood Mom January 30, 2014 at 12:13 PM
My concern is not about whether a company tries to make money. My concern is with how. More pertinently, I am concerned about the role of "repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for"... "the Christie administration." Big problem there.
Carol Harrison January 30, 2014 at 01:09 PM
Cassandra, I didn't say it was inappropriate, you made that judgement. Just as the readers will make their own. Ridgewood Mom, Very important questions, that I hope get answered. I also find their methods of making money worth careful evaluation. Motive, Method.
I am Spartacus January 30, 2014 at 08:27 PM
Cassadra still can't figure out that Hoboken has changed. Those of us who want a government that is beholden to the residents run things now. And the candidates who are willing to blindly approve redevelopment plans sight unseen, 40 story towers and turn the city over to just about any developer who comes knocking lost.
cassandra January 31, 2014 at 12:29 AM
Readers, read the New York Times article referenced above and reach your own conclusions. I do not respond to personal attacks.
puzzledone January 31, 2014 at 07:34 AM
Done. I understand Rockefeller and hobokens positions. Now why in the world was the state setting up meetings between the two? That's the part that stinks.


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