2014-01-18T184530Z_5_CBREA0F17W700_RTROPTP_2_USA-POLITICS-CHRISTIE

Christie administration held Sandy relief 'hostage' over project: mayor

New Jersey Governor Christie speaks during his annual State of State address in Trenton, New Jersey(Reuters) – Two members of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s administration warned a mayor that her town would not receive Superstorm Sandy relief funds unless she approved a redevelopment plan Christie favored, the mayor of Hoboken said on Saturday. The claim by Mayor Dawn Zimmer comes as Christie, a Republican seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2016, faces investigations into a traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge that was apparently politically motivated. Zimmer, a Democrat, told MSNBC television that Hoboken had received only a small part of the $127 million requested after Sandy, which flooded much of the New Jersey town in October 2012. She said Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Richard Constable, Christie’s community affairs commissioner, delivered messages in May 2013 on behalf of Christie, whom she had long supported.

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