New Jersey Lieutenant Gov. Kim Guadagno (R) strongly denied Monday morning that she threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy relief money from a local mayor until the mayor approved a real estate project.
The mayor, Dawn Zimmer of Hoboken, N.J., made the allegations Saturday on MSNBC’s “Up With Steve Kornacki,” saying Guadagno specifically approached her at an event and made it clear the aid money was tied to the project, which was linked to an all of Gov. Chris Christie (R).
“Mayor Zimmer’s version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false but is illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined,” Guadagno said at a news conference in Union Beach, N.J. “Any suggestion that Sandy funds were tied to the approval of any project in New Jersey is completely false.”
Guadagno, who lives in Monmouth Beach, N.J., which was hit hard by the 2012 storm, said she was offended by the accusation.
“Being a Sandy victim myself makes the mayor’s allegation particularly offensive to me,” said Guadagno.
Guadagno also said she thought she “had a good relationship” with Zimmer prior to the allegation. The lieutenant governor said she has “devoted an extraordinary amount of time” to promoting job creation and development in Hoboken and has visited the city “no less than 13 times” including personally “walking on the streets” there with Zimmer “three months after this conversation she said we had occurred.”
“So, yes I am very surprised by the mayor’s allegations and I deny wholeheartedly those allegations. I proudly support and I will continue to support the creation of jobs in Hoboken and all of New Jersey,” Guadagno said. “I deny any suggestion made by Mayor Zimmer that there was ever any condition on the release of Sandy funds by me.”
Guadagno did not take any questions from reporters after making her statement.
Watch a video of Guadagno’s press conference below.