| NEW YORK, April 2
NEW YORK, April 2 Lawmakers in Hoboken, New
Jersey, will decide on Wednesday whether to let a city attorney
cooperate with investigators probing claims of political
intimidation by aides to Republican Governor Chris Christie, a
likely White House contender.
The Hoboken City Council will vote on a resolution allowing
the attorney to disclose his private conversations with Mayor
Dawn Zimmer, who accuses the Christie administration of
withholding federal storm recovery money to pressure her.
Zimmer, a Democrat, alleges she was threatened by three top
Christie aides who told her Hoboken would not get promised money
to clean up from 2012's Superstorm Sandy unless she backed a
development project favored by the governor.
Zimmer's accusations surfaced in January as Christie's
office became the focus of parallel state and federal probes
into possibly politically motivated lane closures leading to the
George Washington Bridge, which links New Jersey and New York
Accusations that members of Christie's inner circle
organized the lane closures to punish the Democratic mayor of
Fort Lee, New Jersey, at the western end of the bridge, have
damaged the moderate Republican's popularity as he lays
groundwork for a likely 2016 presidential bid.
Zimmer, a Democrat, claims that in 2103 she was approached
by three members of Christie's administration, including
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, who told her Sandy recovery
money would not be released unless she approved a massive
Zimmer said Guadagno told her, "I know it's not right, these
things should not be connected, but they are."
Guadagno has denied the allegations.
Zimmer said she discussed the alleged threats with Hoboken
attorney Joseph Maraziti. The resolution being considered
Wednesday would allow him to waive his attorney-client privilege
and cooperate with both the federal and state investigations.
Christie has adamantly denied any knowledge of the bridge
traffic scheme and has called Zimmer's claims false.
Last week, a private law firm hired by Christie to
investigate both the lane closures and the claims made by Zimmer
cleared the governor of any wrongdoing.
Zimmer called the findings "sadly predictable" and a
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Dan Grebler)