UPDATED: Mayor Dawn Zimmer: ‘Gratified’ people being held accountable in Bridgegate

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A letter from U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, sent to the attorney of Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, says that an inquiry into whether or not Guadagno tried to force Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer into approving a politically connected development project in exchange for state recovery aid for Hurricane Sandy has been closed.

Dawn ZimmerBy John Heinis/Hudson County View

Zimmer says she is ‘gratified’ people are being held accountable in the Bridgegate scandal and added that she stands by her claims that Guadagno tried to strong-arm her into approving a development project in exchange for Hurricane Sandy relief funds.

“The closing of the Fort Lee access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in an apparent act of political retaliation was an egregious abuse of power, and I am gratified that some of the individuals involved are being held accountable,” she said in a statement.

Earlier today, former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey officials David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, as well as former Gov. Chris Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, were implicated in the now infamous Bridgegate scandal that caused serious traffic issues for weeks in Fort Lee (per Politicker NJ).

“The U.S. Attorney has so far taken no action regarding the conversation the Lieutenant Governor had with me in which she linked Superstorm Sandy aid with redevelopment decisions in Hoboken that were important to a client of David Samson.”

In January 2014, Zimmer told MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki that state aid would be withheld from the city of Hoboken unless she pushed through a development project where David Samson, then-Chairman of the Port Authority, had his law firm representing the would-be developer.

However, a letter sent from FIshman (dated today, May 1) to attorney William Maderer, who was retained by Guadagno for this matter, says that “no further action is warranted in this matter.

“I stand behind my account which was corroborated by substantial additional evidence. In addition to my contemporaneous journal entry, I told six people about the conversation on the day it occurred, including a lawyer representing the City of Hoboken,” Zimmer further explained.

“In our conversation, the Lieutenant Governor implied to me that she was speaking for the Governor who she said she was with that Friday night. I learned for the first time, months later, upon reading the report of the Governor’s own Counsel Randy Mastro, that the Lieutenant Governor and Governor were indeed together that Friday night at a retreat, as she had told me.

Finally, Melissa Orsen, the Lieutenant Governor’s Chief of Staff told the Mastro investigators that Luciano DiMaggio, the Lieutenant Governor’s Aide had reported to her the following about the immediate aftermath of my conversation with the Lieutenant Governor:

‘The Lieutenant Governor got back into the suburban and said she had to be firm and tell Mayor Zimmer to play ball.’”

Zimmer added that she has never lied about what happened and has cooperated fully in the U.S. Attorney’s investigation of the matter.

She implied that the investigation was closed in the last line of her statement, which reads “I believe that they have taken this matter seriously and respect the judgment that they have made.”

Maderer could not immediately be reached by Hudson County View on Friday.

 

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