2014-01-13T151508Z_1_CBREA0C16DN00_RTROPTP_2_USA-NEWJERSEY-BRIDGE

Christie faces probe over Sandy funds

New Jersey Governor Christie reacts during news conference in TrentonBy Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. investigators are looking into whether embattled New Jersey Governor Chris Christie misused about $2 million in Superstorm Sandy relief funds for an ad campaign that put him in the spotlight in an election year, a lawmaker said on Monday. Already enmeshed in a scandal over snarled traffic at the George Washington Bridge, Christie, a rising star in the Republican party, is now being audited by the Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., a Democrat. The inspector is focusing on a federally financed $25 million Jersey Shore marketing campaign that included a television commercial featuring Christie and his family, which cost $2 million more than a competing bid without them. “While promoting tourism at the Jersey Shore in the wake of Hurricane Sandy is certainly a worthy endeavor, recent reports have led me to believe that the state has irresponsibly misappropriated funding allocated by Congress from the Sandy aid package and taken advantage of this waiver for political purposes,” the letter said.

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