NJ Senators Say Sandy Aid Accusations Part Of ‘Disturbing’ Pattern Of Christie ‘Abuse’

January 18, 2014 6:28 p.m.

Democratic members of New Jersey’s state Senate issued statements Saturday afternoon responding to allegations made by the mayor of Hoboken, N.J. that the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R) withheld Hurricane Sandy relief funds from her city until she approved a real estate project. State Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) and Senator Loretta Weinberg (D) said, coupled with the questions about last September’s lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the new accusations indicate a “pattern” of abusive behavior by the Christie administration,

Weinberg is the chair of the state Senate’s committee dedicated to investigating the lane closures, which she and other Democrats have alleged were ordered by Christie’s allies to retaliate against a mayor who declined to endorse his re-election bid. She vowed the Senate committee would “pursue the latest assertion to determine if it is true and if it is related to what happened in Fort Lee.”

“This is a serious allegation that, if true, reveals another abuse of power by the administration. Withholding emergency funds intended to help storm victims to advance a development project would be especially deplorable,” Weinberg said. “These disclosures are revealing a disturbing pattern of abuse of government responsibility, a possible misuse of public resources and the betrayal of trust.”

Sweeney called the allegations, which were first revealed on MSNBC’s “Up With Steve Kornacki” Saturday morning, “extremely disturbing” and potentially “illegal.”

“The lane closings were an abuse of power. These new revelations suggest a pattern of behavior by the highest-ranking members of this administration that is deeply offensive to the people of New Jersey,” Sweeney said. “If true, they could be illegal. There is no place in public service for actions like this or for the people who are responsible.”

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