A lawyer who deposed Hoboken, New Jersey, Mayor Dawn Zimmer told a local news outlet this week that the mayor told attorneys under oath that she did not keep a diary. Zimmer, who is accusing Governor Chris Christie of sending associates to extort her using Hurricane Sandy funding, has given the press a diary as proof of the incident.
Louis Zayas, a Hudson County attorney who represented a former Hoboken official in a case against the city, says that he heard Zimmer personally deny the existence of any notes chronicling the comings and goings at city hall. Zayas represented Angel Alicea, a former Hoboken Public Safety Director awarded $440,000 against the city of Hoboken after being fired from his job. The jury found that his dismissal amounted to discrimination against Alicea for his Latino heritage. The jury did not find that Mayor Zimmer personally discriminated against Alicia, but she too was on trial and was required to testify to attorneys.
Zayas does not believe Zimmer’s story. “I find her allegations to be outrageous,” he said, “sheer fiction if not a falsehood in every respect.” Zimmer’s story, which she first gave to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, is that Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno approached her in an empty supermarket parking lot and told her that if Zimmer did not cooperate with a real estate development project, she would likely not receive Hurricane Sandy funding her city needs.
Zimmer never approved the real estate redevelopment projects that she claims were tied to Hurricane Sandy funding, but the AP is reporting this week that it didn’t seem to matter. The AP reviewed grant data regarding both the city of Hoboken and neighboring municipalities and found that Hoboken received two state grants, one totaling $142,080 and the other $200,000. The latter it describes as “the fourth-highest allocation among the 35 local governments in the program.”
Zimmer is no longer publicly discussing the case, citing the ongoing federal investigation as grounds for her silence. The FBI was recently reported to descend on her administration, interviewing several high-ranking officials Zimmer claimed could corroborate her story, despite her claim that she was alone with the Lt. Governor when their exchange occurred.
Listen to Zayas’s story via Hudson County TV below: