- The Washington Times - Monday, January 20, 2014

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno denied allegations that she made supporting a redevelopment project championed by Gov. Chris Christie a condition to receive federal relief funds to rebuild Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy.

“I deny any suggestion made by [Hoboken] Mayor [Dawn] Zimmer that there was ever any condition on the release of Sandy funds by me,” Ms. Guadagno said at a press conference on Monday where she did not take any questions.

Ms. Zimmer said over the weekend that Ms. Guadagno told her receiving federal money to rebuild relied on her support of a real estate development project. Ms. Zimmer also said Ms. Guadagno told her the threat came directly from Mr. Christie, CNN reported.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., New Jersey Democrat, said some Jersey Shore residents still haven’t received checks to rebuild their homes, even suggesting that this money was tied to political gain is wrong.

“I worked very hard to get this money for Sandy relief,” he said Monday on CNN. “This notion that somehow you’re going to link Sandy aid to development or TV ads or whatever, it’s just not right. It’s not the way it is and it’s not the way it should be.”

Mr. Pallone declined to speculate on who was in the right in the she said-she said controversy.

“I wasn’t party to the conversations, but I do think the allegations of the mayor of Hoboken are very serious,” he said. “This whole idea of abuse of power has to be looked into.”

New Jersey Assemblyman Scott Rumana, who knows Ms. Guadagno very well, said Monday on MSNBC that she is “a person of tremendous integrity.”

The new accusations come just weeks after Mr. Christie was accused of closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to snarl traffic and get back at the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not supporting his re-election campaign. Mr. Christie fired members of his staff after emails surfaced that linked his office to the traffic and said he had no knowledge of any revenge behind the lane closures.

Mr. Rumana, a Republican, questioned the integrity of the ongoing investigations of the lane closures. Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski is running the investigation, but Mr. Rumana said Mr. Wisniewski is biased and has already made public comments condemning Mr. Christie before the investigation even began.

“Why is one person who has already made such comments being provided with exclusive right to those documents and the exclusive determination as to who will see those documents and when?” he said.

He called for Mr. Wisniewski to step down and for two chairs, one from each party, to head the investigations.

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