Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lawyering Up

Dawn Zimmer, the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, is not giving any more press interviews.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Zimmer said she plans to no longer speak to the media about allegations the Christie administration threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy aid from her city unless she approved a real estate project. Zimmer attributed her silence to ongoing conversations she is having with federal prosecutors.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked that we not conduct additional media interviews and we are respecting their request,” Zimmer said in the statement. “I stand by my previous statements and remain willing to testify under oath about all of the facts in this case.”

That would seem to indicate that there is some substance to her story about the Christie administration putting the muscle on her.  If the U.S. attorney didn’t believe her allegations, they would have said “Sure, go ahead and tell your story to whoever will listen; it’s all bullshit, so what do we care?”  Obviously that’s not the case here.  The New York Times is out with a story that says the F.B.I. has interviewed several aides to the mayor who support her version of the story.

The aides said she had told them about the threat by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, shortly after it occurred, according to two people briefed on the matter.

A Hoboken city councilman, David Mello, said in an interview that Ms. Zimmer had also told him about the threat by Ms. Guadagno, a Republican. Mr. Mello, a Democrat, said he had been upset to hear about what he called “this quid pro quo ultimatum by the lieutenant governor.”