NJ official: Mayor's allegation illogical

New Jersey's lieutenant governor on Monday strongly rejected recent accusations from the mayor of Hoboken that she made political demands related to the release of Hurricane Sandy relief funds.

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“I deny any suggestion made by Mayor [Dawn] Zimmer that there was ever any condition placed on the release of Sandy funds by me,” Kim Guadagno (R) told the press shortly after delivering an address at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteer event in Union Beach, N.J.

“Mayor Zimmer's version ... is not only false, but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined,” she continued.

Guadagno also said she was “surprised” by the allegations, claiming she believed she had a good relationship with Zimmer.

After issuing her denial, Guadagno left without taking questions.

In television appearances on MSNBC and CNN over the weekend, Zimmer said Guadagno had told her in May that the arrival of more Hurricane Sandy relief funds hinged upon the mayor supporting a real estate development project in Hoboken carried out by the Rockefeller Group. The ultimatum, Zimmer said, was delivered by Guadagno, but originated with Christie.

Zimmer's accusations have attracted federal interest, as she claims to have spoken to federal investigators for several hours on Sunday.

The accusations are the latest in a series of blows to rock the Christie administration, since emails emerged two weeks ago linking the governor's office with a lane closure on the George Washington Bridge. The revelation led Christie to fire a top aide. Shortly after, it was announced the federal government was investigating how the Christie administration spent money for post-Sandy tourism ads. The administration hired a firm whose ads prominently featured Christie and his family for twice as much as a competing firm, whose ad proposals did not feature the governor.

Zimmer, however, has been the first official to tie Christie directly to alleged wrongdoing.