The Democratic mayor that accused Chris Christie of withholding Hurricane Sandy relief money was recently accused of perjury.
Christie’s camp has staunchly denied Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer’s “outlandishly false” accusations – which she allegedly documented in her personal diary — that Christie staffers withheld funds for Hoboken under the condition that Zimmer support a development contract.
Zimmer’s own record includes accusations of “lying” in sworn testimony, trying to ethnically “cleanse” the city of Hoboken, and trying to steer a government contract to a politically friendly law firm.
Zimmer allegedly perjured herself and obstructed justice in a discrimination lawsuit filed against her by the city’s former public safety director Angel Alicea, according to a motion filed in September by Alicea’s lawyer Luis Zayas.
“She lied on what documents she used to prepare for the deposition, and second, she downplayed her husband’s role (in her administration) to one where she (later) admitted he was involved much more than she let on,” Zayas said.
Zimmer’s lawyer Gerald Krovatin initially called the perjury and obstruction of justice accusations “nonsense.”
Alicea, a former police officer, alleged in a 2011 lawsuit that he was forced to resign from his position as Hoboken’s public safety director due to his Hispanic ethnicity. Alicea made $27,000 a year part time in his position, while his successor started at a salary of $110,000.
Zimmer and the city lost Alicea’s discrimination case mere weeks before she made her allegation against Christie. On January 3, a jury awarded Alicea $625,000 in punitive damages in addition to the $440,000 in back pay that he won from the city in December. The jury determined that Alicea’s back pay be calculated based on the salary given to Alicea’s successor.
The city will also have to pay Alicea’s lawyer fees, meaning that Hoboken taxpayers will have to pay more than $1 million as a result of the case.
The city of Hoboken has been sued at least five times since Zimmer took office in 2009 in cases that alleged discrimination or wrongful termination.
Hoboken Housing Authority executive director Carmelo Garcia plans to re-file a lawsuit accusing Zimmer of “ethnic cleansing” for allegedly trying to force minorities out of Hoboken in favor of wealthy whites. The case was dismissed in December, but Garcia has until February 14 to re-file.
“Mayor Zimmer’s version of the Vision 20/20 project was essentially an ethnic cleansing initiative in which Mayor Zimmer… sought to replace Hoboken’s minorities with white affluent voters,” according to Garcia’s lawsuit. “By increasing the number of whites in Hoboken, Mayor Zimmer sought to increase her political base among the new guard. Mayor Zimmer did not generally enjoy the support of Hoboken’s minorities.”
Garcia also claimed in the lawsuit that a Hoboken Housing Authority official told Garcia, on behalf of Mayor Zimmer, to award a government contract to a “particular law firm, which is politically connected to Mayor Zimmer.”
Zimmer’s office did not return a request for comment.