Dawn Zimmer Aides Being Questioned by the FBI
Aides to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer are being questioned by the FBI regarding her allegations that the Christie administration held up Sandy funds over support for a development project.
NBC News reports that 5 witnesses including Zimmer’s chief of staff Dan Bryan and communications director Juan Melli have been told to safeguard documents and emails related to Zimmer’s allegations.
Hoboken City Councilman David Mello has backed Zimmer’s story, recalling a conversation last summer. “I distinctly remember [Zimmer] saying that the lieutenant governor said, ‘If this came out, she would deny it,'” he told NBC News.
There is the question of whether or not the conversation was simply politics. “It’s ugly, but if it’s like, ‘You want Sandy money and I want this, let’s do a deal,’ — that’s politics,” California attorney Patrick Hanly told The Record, “Somebody has to have a financial interest in the development. The developer having political juice is not going to do it, that happens all the time. It’s not right, but it happens all the time.”
The attorney who represented former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges, Sam Adam Jr, disagrees. He tells the newspaper that Blagojevich was convicted for simply asking about a possible Cabinet position in the Obama administration. “It does not have to be explicit any longer,” explained Adam. “You don’t have to have a conversation where someone says, we’ll give you one if you do the other.”
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno has denied having a conversation with Zimmer about the funding. “I deny any suggestion made by Mayor Zimmer that there was ever any condition on the release of Sandy funds by me,” said Guadagno. “Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false,’ she said Monday.