Christie Faces New Extortion Charges By Hoboken Mayor
January 20, 2014 • 5:10AM

Hoboken, NJ, Mayor Dawn Zimmer has come out with charges that she, too, was targeted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for refusing to cooperate on a waterfront land development scheme. She told CNN's Candy Crowley this morning that the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, Kim Guadagno, came to her and threatened that Christie would withhold Hurricane Sandy recovery funds unless she came around on the land deal. Indeed, Hoboken got a reduced share of the hurricane relief money in the first round. She told the Daily News that New Jersey Consumer Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable also delivered the same demands and threats. The blunt conversation with Lt. Gov. Guadagno took place on May 13, and Mayor Zimmer said that the Lieutenant Governor seemed embarrassed to be delivering the message. She called it a ``Sopranos-style shakedown.'' The two incidents occurred four days apart. Hoboken has asked for $127 million in Sandy relief and has so far gotten $342,000. The city suffered $100 million in private property damage and $10 million in public property damage, according to estimates.

The Chairman of the New Jersey State Assembly Commission investigating Christie-gate, John Wisniewski, said the Hoboken allegations are serious and will be investigated as part of the probe of the abuse of government power. He appeared on NBC TV today along with Rudy Giuliani, who tried to defend Christie. Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who heads the Senate probe, will also take up the added Hoboken charges.

The waterfront property at the center of the Hoboken dispute is to be developed by the Rockefeller Group. They hired former Christie cabinet officer Lori Grifa as their lobbyist and the group's law firm, Wolff & Samson, includes David Samson, Christie's hand-picked Chairman of the Port Authority Commission, according to the Daily News account. He has been subpoena'd by the New Jersey investigating commissions and is expected to resign in February. In her interview on MSNBC, Mayor Zimmer said she would take a lie-detector test and produce any documents requested, charging that the Christie aides will not do likewise.