EXCLUSIVE: NJTV NEWS Reports Housing Authority Exec Alleges Zimmer Holding Sandy Recovery Funds Hostage

January 29, 2014– HOBOKEN, NJ– Tonight, NJTV News correspondent David Cruz continues coverage on the latest controversies surrounding Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. With more excerpts from secret audio recordings involving Zimmer’s husband, obtained exclusively by NJTV News, Cruz reports on new allegations the Hoboken Mayor played politics with Sandy reconstruction funds.

From David Cruz’s report tonight:

Hoboken Housing Authority Executive Director Carmelo Garcia says he wanted to use the recording of his meeting to document the mayor’s role in this, what he alleges is two years of political and personal harassment stemming from his refusal to accept Dawn Zimmer’s choice to become the HHA’s attorney. But that was just part 1, he says.

“The second came thereafter,” he said, “which was to block and deny an application for Sandy recovery funds to build the first 44 unit Sandy-proof building, post Sandy.”

The plan is called Vision 2020, a proposal to transform the Hoboken Housing Authority’s west side development into a more vibrant new community that could withstand another major storm. The plan, which adds some 200 units to the HHA’s inventory, won initial approval by the authority’s board. Now, the HHA wants to apply for Sandy recovery funds through a HUD and Community Development Block Grant program that Garcia says provides $12 million to help fund Phase I of Vision 2020. But the application requires a so-called “resolution of need” to be approved by the city council in order to be considered viable.

“You need the city’s support on a ‘resolution of need’ that simply says that the city concurs that there is a need for new affordable housing or replacement affordable housing,” said Garcia. “That’s it.”

But when the resolution came before the Zimmer-aligned council last year it was voted down, twice, raising Garcia’s concerns that the Zimmer-aligned council was tying the resolution on the Sandy relief funds to the selection of new attorney for the HHA.

Watch the rest of the story with more exclusive audio excerpts online now: https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/exclusive-housing-authority-exec-alleges-zimmer-holding-sandy-recovery-funds-hostage/

David Cruz’s in-studio analysis of the story with Mike Schneider follows.

Last night, Cruz revealed the first portion of exclusive audio tape of a discussion involving Zimmer’s husband that suggests he might be involved with back-door dealings himself.  Watch that story and the post-interview here:  https://www.njtvonline.org/njtv-pressroom/2014/01/28/njtv-news-obtains-exclusive-audio-of-backdoor-dealing-in-wake-of-sandy-fund-scandal/

Watch NJTV News with Mike Schneider weeknights at 6, 7:30 and 11pm on NJTV (check local listings).  Get news updates on njtvnews.org any time;  follow the discussion on Twitter #njtvnews and Facebook @njtvonline.