Hoboken mayor calls Christie allegations 'stunning,' but 'true'

The mayor of Hoboken, N.J., on Sunday said accusations that Gov. Chris Christie (R) threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief funds over her opposition to a real estate development project were “stunning,” but "true.”

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Democrat Dawn Zimmer said Christie and his administration insisted that she allow the Rockefeller project to go through or risk losing the money needed after the storm

"It's unbelievable, but it's true, and I'm coming forward," Zimmer said in on CNN's "State of the Union." "It's stunning ... but it's true."

The allegations first came to light on Saturday in a television interview.

"I don't know what they were trying to get in the 'Bridgegate' but I do know what they're trying to get in Hoboken, they're holding our Sandy funds hostage in order to get pushed through and expedite the Rockefeller project," she said.

In May, 2013, Zimmer said she was pulled aside by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and told to move forward with the real estate project because it was important to the governor.

Zimmer said she was told that the message came straight from the governor.

"What I thought was, 'this is a threat,' " Zimmer said.

"This is not fair what she's asking me to do and it's not fair to hold those Sandy funds hostage in exchange for one development project."

When asked why it took her so long to come forward, even after she tweeted her praise for Christie last summer, Zimmer said she didn't think anyone would believe her.

"I really didn't think anyone would have believed me," Zimmer said. "If I came forward, no one believes me, then I'm going to put Hoboken in an even worse position."

Christie has come under fire in the past couple of weeks for "Bridgegate," with aides accused of closing lanes that snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

The move is seen as a punishment for the failure of Fort Lee's mayor to give Christie his endorsement for reelection.

Zimmer said her town got shortchanged on the funding for her hard-hit city.

She said she the city only received $300,000 of the $100 million she requested.

The governor's camp rejected the claims, arguing that it is boiling down to politics at play among Democratic mayors following the bridge lane-closure scandal.

“The claim that Hoboken has been denied any Sandy relief funds is false,” Christie spokesman Collin Reed said in a statement. “Hoboken has not been denied on a single grant application for recovery efforts under the current programs for which they are eligible.”

“Hoboken has already received nearly $70 million worth of funding for direct recovery and rebuilding efforts,” Reed added. “Hoboken has in no way trailed similarly situated communities in the receipt of rebuilding funds.”

--This post was updated at 3:57 p.m.