Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer released new journal entries last week that shed light on why she waited eight months to allege that top aides to Gov. Chris Christe made apparently illegal suggestions to her last spring.
On Monday, Zimmer sent a letter to four high ranking members of the New Jersey State Senate in regards to comments Gov. Chris Christie made recently about a potential law that would punish elected officials for not promptly reporting misconduct.
In her letter, reported first on hudsonreporter.com, Zimmer argued that Christie's law could have a “chilling effect” on whistleblowers, and used herself as a case in point, since she revealed this past January her own allegations that Christie's administration told her she might get more Hurricane Sandy aid for her city if she helped expedite a development project whose lobbyist was a close Christie associate.
With the letter, Zimmer included journal entries from last spring further detailing allegations she has made about the governor’s aides. These particular entries apparently explain why Zimmer waited eight months to come forward.
The entries attached to Monday's letter state: “I have now heard it from Lt. Gov & Com. Constable. Yes- this is illegal. I debated w/ [attorney] Joe Maraziti whether or not to go to US Attorney- we decided that Christie has friends throughout US Attorney's office - [therefore] not much chance in getting help from them & it could create a nightmare for us. A little bit scary to realize that there's nowhere to turn for help against this threat from Gov Christie- my best defense is to stand up to the bully- my beloved Gov who wants to run for president.”
“We decided that Christie has friends throughout US Attorney's office...” – Dawn Zimmer’s diary
Zimmer made her initial allegations – that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and other administration officials linked Sandy aid to her support of a commercial development project with ties to Christie – nearly eight months after the threats were allegedly made. The mayor has been criticized for waiting so long to come forward, and for choosing to do so on national television rather than going to the U.S. attorney.
She has responded that she thought no one would believe her, and that coming forward could have placed Hoboken in a precarious situation with regard to other Sandy aid.
The journal entries released on Monday make reference to the city’s redevelopment attorney, Joseph Maraziti. Apparently, Zimmer told Maraziti last year of the aides' comments, but "we decided that Christie has friends throughout US Attorney's office."
Zimmer also sent out Tweets last year praising Christie even after the time she was allegedly bullied. Zimmer was up for re-election this past November at the same time as Christie. She neither endorsed Christie nor his Democratic opponent.
Besides sending the letter to state Senate and Assembly officials, Zimmer sent copies to members of the Hoboken City Council. In the letter, Zimmer noted that she would be unable to elaborate on her reasons for not coming forward sooner “beyond the specific language of the journal itself.”
Dean DeChiaro may be reached at email@example.com