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Christie Administration Delayed Oversight Of Sandy Relief Money, Report Says

Integrity monitors approved in May, but not put in place until January, according to report.

Gov. Chris Christie at Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk following Hurricane Sandy (Patch photo).
Gov. Chris Christie at Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk following Hurricane Sandy (Patch photo).

Gov. Chris Christie, already under fire for new revelations in the "Bridgegate" scandal, is taking additional heat regarding his handling of Hurricane Sandy relief money.

A report by MSNBC's Steve Kornacki says Christie took nearly a year to enforce a law requiring close oversight of federal Sandy recovery money.

In March, Christie signed the "Integrity Monitor Act" that has independent monitors oversee the distribution of $5 million-plus in aid for Sandy recovery projects.

The report, however, says integrity monitors weren't put in place until January 2014 even though they were approved by the state in May. A Christie spokesman told the show that the monitors have undergone training for 10 months.

The report comes a day after an attorney for a principal figure in the "Bridgegate" scandal that has plagued the Christie administration reversed course, indicating the governor knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures in Fort Lee all along.

In a statement following the report's release, the Christie administration again denied the governor had any knowledge of the "Bridgegate" scandal, and the political motivation behind it, until he read about it in news reports.

"As the governor said in a December 13th press conference, he only first learned lanes were closed when it was reported by the press, and as he said in his Jan. 9 press conference, had no indication that this was anything other than a traffic study until he read otherwise the morning of Jan. 8. The governor denies Mr. Wildstein's lawyer's other assertions,” according to the statement from the governor's office.

The attorney representing David Wildstein, the former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who ordered the lane closures last year, said evidence exists tying Gov. Christie Christie to knowing about the closures that administration officials used as political retaliation against the Fort Lee mayor, according to The Star-Ledger.

Mike Shortall Sr February 04, 2014 at 10:22 PM
Oh, Georgie, you're such a trip. But you laid out the ONLY reason this story has now carried more air time and column space than allowing an Ambassador to be hunted and killed like a dog. It's all about Christie's perch atop the Leader Board. At least you're honest about it. Just an FYI, I never watch Fox News (not that there's anything wrong with watching). I prefer to watch the chuckleheads on MSNBC as a way of keeping an eye on what the other side is doing. Nice try though .... You won't be the first to think accusing someone of watching Fox automatically wins you an argument, and you won't be the last. Better luck next time. P.S. If Hillary sits atop the national polls don't you think people would want to know why she allowed Ambassador Stevens to be hunted and killed?!?
Mike Shortall Sr February 04, 2014 at 10:23 PM
I can't stop laughing every time I repeat the phrase "In a MSNBC report ..."
Curious George February 05, 2014 at 11:22 AM
There you go again, Mikie...when all else fails revert back to the Benghazi story...Like that has anything to do with Christie's problems in NJ...I guess, to end this thread, we'll just have to see what comes out in this investigation and the subpoenaed documents that have been provided...Isn't it interesting that several of his top aids are pleading the 5th...You have to wonder what they are trying hide and why...But of course, there's always Benghazi and the IRS to talk about.
Simon February 05, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Monkey George: All you leftos can successfully do is call people names and insult them when they do not agree with the leftist agenda. Christie is only a national story because Maddow/Hayes (same person with and without glasses) declared him to be so. There are at least a dozen other viable 2016 GOP candidates. It's a shame how they've diminished the nbc organization, which deserves what it gets. Poor ratings.
Spooner February 05, 2014 at 01:24 PM
...not for nothing 'Simon' but FOX News has been losing market share in the important 25-54 year old viewership. For a NYC based operation ti ignore what's going on with New Jersey Governor Christie and his aspirations for President defies reality, considering that polls show a big drop in Christie's popularity between him and Clinton when they compared polling done in December to last month?
Curious George February 05, 2014 at 03:18 PM
Simon, in all of these exchanges I never called anyone any names and never insulted anyone either...All I did was present my side of the story...You, on the otherhand, while bereft of actual facts in this case, resort to silly name calling and insults...Just like the bully governor you support.
Simon February 06, 2014 at 09:15 AM
@Curious: I was not a supporter of Christie until he was attacked by the biased, leftist lamestream media. While I did vote in November's election, I did not vote for Christie. @Spooner: I was referring to national Fox news which is NOT a local news network but a national news network focused on national news, not New Jersey news. You may not realize this fact but many people in the country do not consider a traffic jam and the personal gripes of a local mayor in NJ to be news of national significance. That "defies" reality? Please. Are we done here so that I can move on with the rest of my life?
Spooner February 06, 2014 at 11:04 AM
@Simon- Fox News corporate headquarters is in NYC and Christie is a national figure. Spoke at national convention in 2012 for Romney and his now head of the Republican Governors Association, not to mention his name being used in national polling for President. So to say outside of New Jersey he's little known, and any scandal involving him is immaterial, is absurd, especially now that the Justice Dept is involved!
Windrunner February 07, 2014 at 01:06 PM
Outside of New Jersey he is actually considered a strong contender to go against Hilary. The farther away from here his persona goes, the better it appears, it seems. Perhaps if he does come out of this, all future voters should take the time to hear what New Jersey locals have to say about their homeboy. Wake up calls are always good.
Spooner February 07, 2014 at 01:22 PM
...he was considered a strong contender. Latest poll has him down 10-14 points below Clinton(53-39)
Mike Shortall Sr February 07, 2014 at 02:05 PM
"What difference does it make?" - Hillary "Who'da thunk they would attack on 9-11?!?" Clinton
Windrunner February 07, 2014 at 03:02 PM
Yes, an interesting stand off. Both now have a soiled piece of baggage that will haunt them, when the time comes. Wonder if that fact negates them both out- and allows an unexpected to rise instead? At least the GOP should realize not to waste time on another drag out situation.
Sandy Storm February 16, 2014 at 09:12 PM
OK figure this: $6 Million given from the $54M that Christie allocated to Bergen County. It is earmarked 'to help those of us that lost everthing inlcuidng cars, had not palce to live as we roamed from palce to place over the past year get back on our feet. After jumping thorugh hoops I was told last week when I applied that the program is closing. The program started in November, was not promoted to the 27,000 or so needy as per FEMA in Bergen County. How can that be when up to $15K in aid was "earmarked to help us find stable housing and rebuild and now its closing??? I was also told to forget it if I expected to receive assistance as noted on the State of NJ Web Site that states how the funds are supposed to be distributed. Isn't $6M more than enough??? I think those that are cozy watching this nightmare from their arm chairs should take some time to find out...
Carol Harrison March 04, 2014 at 03:58 PM
Simon, I've been letting this all settle and sink in. Regardless of how much some in Hoboken makes or how much people in New Brunswick or Belleville make. I care that the funding is not used as political punishment/reward system. Did New Brunswick need Sandy money given how affected they were? What about Belleville?
Lou March 05, 2014 at 06:18 AM
Only the Governor's friends can get into these town Hall meetings. He is still rewarding his favorites.
Simon March 05, 2014 at 11:33 AM
@Carol: I appreciate your concern for the way in which taxpayer funds are spent. I wish that more people did. As to the Hoboken Mayor's specific allegations, what exactly has been proven at this point? If the Sandy funds were misdirected, this state unfortunately has a very long history of waste and corruption and no one should understand more than the mayor of a Hudson County municipality . It didn't begin with Sandy or with Christie. This is primarily why NJ is saddled with the highest property taxes in the country, a situation is that forcing people out, including myself. Why weren't Corzine and McGravy scrutinized as they should have been? Seems very biased on the part of the (leftist, Democratic) media to me.
Simon March 05, 2014 at 11:35 AM
@Lou: As if Obama's public meetings aren't the very same. Why do you folks always use two different standards for everything?
Lou March 06, 2014 at 02:34 PM
Wait Simon. You are dead wrong about Obama's town hall. He is one guy that makes himself very accessible especially to the press. The Gov's meetings are by invites only.My girlfriend got one and she is a strong supporter of the Governor. She has nothing to do with Sandy. Who goes to Sandy meeting and asks the Gov about Obama care? Not someone looking to get help from Sandy. When do you think the Governor will have a press conference? He should answer these questions just to shut up his critics. Maybe one in 90 days? I'm waiting.
Simon March 07, 2014 at 12:27 PM
@Lou: Obama makes himself available to the press strictly on his own terms. Attendance at all of his public meetings are strictly screened. You must have been living under a rock for the past 5 years--or still living in Jonestown, Guyana.
Lou March 09, 2014 at 07:22 AM
@this wasn't about Obama, it was NJ residents hurt by Sandy. Senator Sweeney had a town meeting last week for Jersey residents complaining about Sandy Relief. There were some hard questions asked? They must of thought Sweeney was Governor.
Simon March 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM
@Lou: Nice deflection and typical for your ilk. First, you falsely state that Christie makes himself available only to his supporters, which is not true and I am a witness to this "explosive" fact, and then when I compare that situation to Obama's tepid, staged, and hand-picked public meetings and press conferences, you state that "this has nothing to do with Obama". I rest my case.
Carol Harrison March 10, 2014 at 04:20 PM
Simon, Lets dispel some of your assumptions first. I never said that any past governor was better than Christie. I don't trust any media source implicitly. In fact I was a communications major and had my share of media jobs. One was an internship with the News Department of Philadelphia's NBC affiliate. All news is paid for and that is who they are loyal to. For TV news it is all about ratings and commercial spots. Everything they do is to keep the money flowing. If it bleeds it leads. They taylor the news to the audience they have, out of a fear of losing it. I have also not said anything favorable of past NJ governors. I have more contempt of McGravy than most of them, because his whole life was a lie. I might lean left, but I hate corruption. I dislike lies and liars. Now about the mayor's charges, there have been a few stories that indicate that Hoboken did not get what it should have, based on the states own guidelines. I don't have time right now to google them and post them but I have read them.
Simon March 10, 2014 at 08:19 PM
@Carol: Now you people have really confused me. My last comment was in response to Lou. Are you also Lou??? If you're from Hoboken, anything is possible. As to the media and their lies, you're preaching to the choir. For the record, I can't remember the last NJ governor's election in which I voted, and I vote in every election, including the old school board elections when we at least had the right to vote up or down on our school budgets. In my memory, there hasn't been a NJ gubernatorial candidate worthy of my vote. As to Hoboken, it's very difficult to sympathize with a town where the Wall Street property owners probably average annual income that is hundreds of thousands of dollars more than most of the hard-pressed taxpayers who are now being asked to provide them with welfare. My Sandy damage was covered by my private insurance policy. I have been paying those premiums year after year, and I never asked for a dime from taxpayers for any of my Sandy damage. I still don't understand what you're point actually is.
Carol Harrison March 10, 2014 at 08:41 PM
I was responding to your last comment to me. I'll paste it below, since you can't keep up with your own posts. I don't care about the homes of the wall streeters. I care about backup generators for our fire departments. I care about not having to redo the first floor of your schools again. I'm not talking about person liability. I'm talking about the city's infrastructure. @Carol: I appreciate your concern for the way in which taxpayer funds are spent. I wish that more people did. As to the Hoboken Mayor's specific allegations, what exactly has been proven at this point? If the Sandy funds were misdirected, this state unfortunately has a very long history of waste and corruption and no one should understand more than the mayor of a Hudson County municipality . It didn't begin with Sandy or with Christie. This is primarily why NJ is saddled with the highest property taxes in the country, a situation is that forcing people out, including myself. Why weren't Corzine and McGravy scrutinized as they should have been? Seems very biased on the part of the (leftist, Democratic) media to me.
Carol Harrison March 10, 2014 at 08:44 PM
The money Mayor Zimmer has been talking about is for flood prevention infrastructure, pumps, backup generators.
Simon March 10, 2014 at 08:57 PM
@Carol: For me, that was a long time ago, but I stand by every word. If a town full of multi-millionaire property owners, as Hoboken IS, can't afford to fix its own basic infrastructure, as every other town is expected to do, then don't come to me as a struggling taxpayer to pay for that. Have a nice evening.
Spooner March 10, 2014 at 10:21 PM
@Carol Harrison- anyone that can make this statement:"I was referring to national Fox news which is NOT a local news network...where many people in the country do not consider a traffic jam and the personal gripes of a local mayor in NJ to be news of national significance". . .is in total denial. Period!
Simon March 10, 2014 at 11:29 PM
@Spoonfed: If your comment is directed at me, why are you directing it to someone else? As one who has lived in this state for five or six decades, my experience is that people in other parts of the country don't give a rat's testicle about New Jersey or its governor. So please stop polluting my email inbox. Thank you!
harryfinster March 11, 2014 at 12:54 AM
your wrong it is a comic soap opera,latest christi quote " i dont understand why everyone is so upset ,this is how we do things in new jersey
Spooner March 11, 2014 at 12:35 PM
...the latest up date on bridge gate is in today's local paper(New York Times) where Christie is described as being the orchestrator of the toll increases to advance his political career...

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