The Democratic mayor of a New Jersey town flooded during Superstorm Sandy says she was told an ultimatum tying storm recovery aid to her support of a prime real estate development came from Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the message was delivered by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DAHN'-oh) at an event in Hoboken in May to promote the opening of a new supermarket.
Zimmer says Guadagno told her: "This project is really important to the governor." And Zimmer says Guadagno then told her: "This was a direct message from the governor."
Zimmer says she didn't reveal the conversation until now because she feared no one would believe her.
Christie spokesman Colin Reed called Zimmer's remarks "categorically false."
Gov. Chris Christie's administration is denying a New Jersey mayor's claims it withheld millions of dollars in Superstorm Sandy recovery grants because she refused to sign off on a politically connected development.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer tells The Associated Press that Christie's lieutenant governor and a top community development official told her recovery funds would flow if the commercial development went forward.
Zimmer says Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DON-yo) pulled her aside at a May event and told her "we are not going to be able to help you" unless the project moves forward.
Christie spokesman Colin Reed said the administration has been helping Hoboken secure assistance since Sandy struck, and that the governor and mayor have historically enjoyed a productive relationship.
Christie is embroiled in another scandal involving traffic jams apparently manufactured to settle a political score.
MSNBC first reported Zimmer's comments Saturday.