FBI agents have begun questioning aides to Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer within Hoboken City Hall, according to an NBC News report. “Key witnesses” have sat down with federal investigators to discuss the claim that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s senior officials threatened to deny Hurricane Sandy funding to the mayor.
Zimmer, who alleges that New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno approached her in a parking lot and threatened to deny funding for Hurricane Sandy relief if Zimmer did not approve a real estate project linked to Christie allies, has not spoken to the press since her brush with the U.S. Attorney’s office. The mayor sent a letter to the Hoboken City Council yesterday explaining that she would not be able to discuss the matter with anyone in Hoboken City Hall or in public because of the ongoing investigation.
Now NBC News reports that Zimmer is not the only one speaking to federal officials. Federal agents, the report alleges, have spoken to Dan Bryan, Zimmer’s chief of staff, and Juan Melli, her communications director, and instructed “key witnesses” to preserve any documents relating to the matter. Zimmer is alleged to have told the FBI that there were at least five individuals who could confirm her story – or, at least, that she told them about the situation at the time, and not recently when the news broke out.
NBC did manage to interview one of the people who claim they can corroborate Zimmer’s argument – David Mello, a member of the Hoboken City Council. Mello says he can “distinctly remember [Zimmer] saying that the lieutenant governor said, ‘If this came out, she would deny it.'”
Zimmer has offered two key documents as evidence that her allegations are true: her personal diary, which seems to note the day on which she had her encounter with Guadagno, and a letter from last April in which she requests more Sandy funding for her city.
The news of federal investigation into Zimmer’s claims comes on the heels of several developments regarding the multiple scandals surrounding Trenton this month. New Jersey’s legislative investigation committee issued two more subpoenas Thursday on top of the 20 released already: one for the Christie for Governor campaign, and one for the New Jersey Republican Party. The Daily Mail also published updates Thursday on a different allegation by a different mayor: Democratic Mayor Christian Bollwage of Elizabeth, New Jersey, who claims that his city’s Motor Vehicle Commission office was shut down in retribution, and that the traffic cameras he wanted in his town were placed on streets he disagreed with.
Christie has remained quiet since his inauguration speech this Tuesday in which he touted a series of new policy proposals but did not address the scandals of his administration.