Lawyer: Hoboken Mayor Denied During Deposition She Keeps A Diary

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A New Jersey lawyer who was involved in a lawsuit against Hoboken, N.J. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is raising questions about a key part of Zimmer’s allegations against the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R).

Zimmer, a Democrat, recently accused the administration of threatening to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid if she did not approve a development deal. To support her claims, Zimmer provided MSNBC with diary entries that she wrote about a May 2013 interaction with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R).

But attorney Louis Zayas, who represented Hoboken’s former public safety director in a wrongful termination suit, told The Newark Star-Ledger in an interview this weekend that Zimmer denied keeping a diary during a July 2013 deposition.

“When we asked her about that journal, she claimed she didn’t have one,” Zayas told the Star-Ledger. “Now she’s claiming that she has a diary or calendar of some sort that she wrote down this incident between the lieutenant governor and herself.”

The Star-Ledger obtained the relevant portion of the deposition, which, as the newspaper points out, “leaves room for speculation on what type of journal Zayas was asking about.”

“When you have meetings regarding day-to-day activities involving Hoboken business with your department heads, do you memorialize any of the conversation that takes place yourself?” Zayas asked in the deposition.

“No, I don’t transcribe it,” Zimmer said.

Zayas then asked Zimmer if she writes “notes in a calendar or some sort of memo pad that says follow up on a text or this was said during this meeting; anything that would help you recall what was said during the course of the meeting?”

“No, I don’t,” Zimmer said.

A spokesperson for Zimmer dismissed Zayas’ accusations. (Zimmer has stopped giving media interviews, citing a request from federal prosecutors investigating her claims.)

“This is coming from the man who filed a lawsuit accusing the mayor of ethnic cleansing,” Melli said, referring to another lawsuit Zayas is involved with. (Earlier this month, a jury ordered Hoboken to pay the former public safety director $1 million in back pay and damages.) “There’s obviously a journal since it was turned over to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”

Zayas told the Star-Ledger he believes Zimmer did keep a diary, because his client said he saw her writing in it during meetings.

Read the whole thing here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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