Hoboken, N.J., official says Mayor Zimmer threatened him

Jan. 30, 2014 at 3:28 PM
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JERSEY CITY, N.J., Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer has charged New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with using strongarm tactics and now a local official says she did the same thing.

Carmelo Garcia, the city housing authority director and a Democratic member of the state assembly, has sued Zimmer, the (Newark) Star-Ledger reported. In court papers filed last week in Hudson County, Garcia charged Zimmer sent her husband to pressure him to hire contractors with political connections.

Zimmer became a national figure when she charged, in the wake of the "Bridgegate" scandal, Christie tried to get her to fast-track approval of a Hoboken development planned by a firm with ties to his administration. She said Christie sent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to threaten to withhold aid after Superstorm Sandy.

Garcia says that Zimmer and her husband, Stanley Grossbard, "began to subject Director Garcia to an unlawful pattern of harassment, threats, intimidation and extortion."

Gerald Krovatin, Zimmer's lawyer, said Garcia tried to win promises of greater job security in return for supporting the mayor. He suggested Garcia's lawsuit is part of an effort to discredit Zimmer's charges about the governor.

In the complicated world of New Jersey politics, Christie, a Republican, has close ties to a number of Democrats. Zimmer, also a Democrat, became mayor after her predecessor was convicted of federal charges in an investigation that began when Christie was U.S. attorney and has said she was a big fan of the governor until she was threatened over Sandy aid.

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