Joint Investigative Committee Announced As Zimmer Continues Allegations Against Christie Administration

By David Cruz

A joint committee is what Sen. Loretta Weinberg wanted and thought she would get all along. Today’s announcement confirmed the joint committee will be co-chaired by Assemblyman John Wisniewski on the Assembly side and Weinberg on the Senate side.

“Assemblyman Wisniewski and I have worked together on this issue for quite a few months. I think we trust each other. I think we have a good working relationship and I think with the support and encouragement of the leadership of our Senate president and the speaker they’ve been able to work out whatever the logistics were,” Weinberg said.

Meanwhile, after implicating the lieutenant governor and Department of Community Affairs commissioner last week, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has now thrown the governor’s Sandy relief fund czar into the mix of administration officials she says tried to strong-arm her into supporting a favored development project in her city.

“I was down in a meeting a month ago and I said to Marc Frazen, invited me down for a briefing and I said, ‘Marc, can you put some support behind rebuild by design into the second tranche of funding,’ and he said, ‘Mayor, you need to let me know how much development you’re willing to do.’ That was the answer that I got back,” Zimmer said.

Zimmer appeared on CNN again last night, this time presenting what she says is further evidence of pressure from Christie administration officials — a letter to the governor dated April 23 hinting at a linkage between Sandy funds and development.

She writes, “Just as shore towns are not being asked for development in exchange for protecting them from future storms, the solution to Hoboken’s flooding challenges cannot be dependent on future development.”

The administration dismissed Zimmer’s charges outright, although Zimmer says the U.S. Attorney’s Office has interviewed members of her staff as part of an investigation they’ve opened. Zimmer said she expects to meet with administration officials this week to discuss future Sandy relief funding.

The mayor is taking a break from her national TV appearances today, in deference, she says, to the governor’s inauguration, and, a little bit of a snowstorm in the mile square city. A mayor’s work, it seems, is never done.