BREAKING: Zimmer emailed Christie aide months after alleged threats to warn of reporter’s inquiries, report claims
Mar 27, 2014 | 4453 views | 0 0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOBOKEN -- An email from Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer to a chief political strategist for Gov. Christopher Christie, included in the governor’s internal review of last September’s lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, could prove problematic in relation to Zimmer’s claims that the governor held Hurricane Sandy aid hostage, according to an NBC report.

In the email, which was apparently sent by Zimmer to Christie’s chief political consultant Mike Duhaime last August, the mayor wrote that she would be “more than happy to come and say a quick hello and welcome Gov. Christie when he comes to Hoboken tomorrow.”

According to NBC, “tomorrow” referred to an event that took place three months after Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno allegedly cornered Zimmer in a Shop Rite parking lot and threatened to withhold Sandy aid unless the mayor backed a lucrative uptown development project with ties to the governor.

The email contains a “heads up” for Duhaime that Zimmer had been contacted by a reporter asking about the discrepancy between Sandy aid awarded to Brick Township as opposed to Hoboken, apparently wondering if it had anything to do with Zimmer’s decision not to endorse Christie, according to NBC.

"I very clearly stated it does not [have anything to do with not endorsing Christie]," Zimmer apparently said in the email to Duhaime.

According to the report, Zimmer also wrote that she planned “to reach out to the governor's office to try to understand the difference in the funding sources between Brick and Hoboken so that I can better respond going forward. I doubt this reporter is going to run anything because I did not give them anything to report but I just wanted to let you know that may be what some people are trying to spin."

While this email does not contradict Zimmer's claim that the Christie administration may have held up aid for other reasons, it shows the mayor appearing to side with Christie against any questions that were asked.

The NBC report cited sources familiar with Christie’s internal review, the results of which were scheduled to be announced Thursday morning. The email, the report said, has been turned over to federal prosecutors investigating Zimmer’s claims.

The email is significant in light of a widely reported story two months ago in which Zimmer alleged that last May, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno allegedly implied that Zimmer's Sandy aid might be tied to a development favor. At the time, Zimmer said she wrote in her diary, "I thought [Christie] was moral. This week, I found out he's cut from the same corrupt cloth that I have been fighting for the last four years ... it literally brings tears to my eyes."

Yet, three months later, Zimmer appeared to side with the governor in deflecting a press question.

City spokesman Juan Melli said that neither he nor Zimmer had read the governor’s full report, but that they would issue a statement some time Thursday afternoon. Keep an eye on for that update. – Dean DeChiaro

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