Last May 8, a severe rainstorm left the streets of this city flooded once again, causing the mayor, Dawn Zimmer, to recall the inundation from Hurricane Sandy.
So she dashed off a letter to Gov. Chris Christie, imploring him to help with Hoboken’s “ongoing flooding emergency,” and attached photos of cars in water up to their hoods. She was due to meet the next day with officials of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, when she hoped to talk about protecting Hoboken from the next catastrophic deluge to come.
But according to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. The developer, the Rockefeller Group, which had long been trying to gain approval from officials, sent two executives, two lobbyists and an engineer to the meeting.
Mayor Zimmer, through a spokesman, said on Wednesday that she went to the meeting but refused to discuss the project, feeling it was premature to do so.
The next day, the mayor has said, she received a call telling her that Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno would visit Hoboken the following Monday. Ms. Zimmer, a Democrat, has alleged that during that visit, while in the parking lot of a Shop-Rite supermarket, Ms. Guadagno, like the governor a Republican, told her that the Rockefeller project was important to Mr. Christie and that the mayor needed to “move forward” with it if she wanted Hoboken to receive the flood protection money being distributed in the wake of the hurricane.
The Christie administration has denied ever linking the Rockefeller project to hurricane relief, an accusation that is now under federal investigation.
But whatever the outcome of the inquiries, the emails and interviews make clear that the development-wary mayor was coming under increasing and repeated pressure from politically connected lawyers working for Rockefeller Group and from the Christie administration.
The New York Times, "Christie Allies Pushed a Project in New Jersey."
Looks like those charges hurled by Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer are gonna be another albatross around Chris Christie’s and now Kim Guadagno’s corrupt necks.