The Democratic mayor that accused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of withholding Hurricane Sandy relief money has been accused of politicizing a post-Sandy project over political feuds herself.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer shut down a tourism website designed to help the city’s post-Sandy business community because one of the design firm’s co-owners declared his candidacy for City Council against one of Zimmer’s allies, according to 2013 claims by Tisha Creative co-owners Joe Mindak and Kevin Cale, made before the Hoboken City Council.
The city of Hoboken even confirmed that they shut down the project due to the election and that they wanted to give the project to another firm.
“Mr. Mindak’s council candidacy created the situation where he would be in the dual capacity as a city vendor and a candidate for office,” Zimmer said then. “It is his candidacy that created the conflict in pay-to-play issues that needed to be considered and addressed.”
“We’d been working on logos, slogans, everything, and it’d be going very smoothly with the city,” Cale said. “We were going in for weekly meetings, collaborating on different ideas. And then Joe declared his candidacy for City Council, and boom, everything went quiet.”
Zimmer recently accused Christie’s office of withholding Hurricane Sandy funds unless she supported a development project in Hoboken.
Her evidence, presented to the media, includes diary entries she allegedly wrote characterizing a conversation with New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Zimmer accused Guadagno of delivering the funding threat.
Christie’s camp has staunchly denied Zimmer’s “outlandishly false” accusations.
The Daily Caller reported last week that Zimmer was accused of perjury and obstruction of 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.
From the files of that case came a bombshell revelation that casts doubt on the truthfulness of Zimmer’s claims against Christie, which she claimed were supported by her diary entries.
“When you have meetings regarding day-to-day activities involving Hoboken business with your department heads, do you memorialize any of the conversation that takes place yourself?,” Zayas asked Zimmer in a July 2013 deposition.
“No, I don’t transcribe it,” Zimmer said.
Zayas asked if Zimmer keeps “notes in a calendar or some sort of memo pad that says follow up on a text or this was said during this meeting; anything that would help you recall what was said during the course of the meeting?”
“No, I don’t,” Zimmer said.
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.
Zimmer’s office still has not replied to TheDC’s request for an interview. Tisha Creative did not return a request for comment.