The City of Hoboken hired a lawyer Wednesday as federal agents conduct an investigation into allegations that New Jersey officials would deny relief funds to storm-battered Hoboken last year unless the city's mayor supported a development project.
City council voted 5-4 Wednesday to hire Newark-based criminal defense attorney Gerry Krovatin to "represent the council’s interests" as the investigation proceeds, according to northjersey.com.
The resolution authorized $17,000 to be spent on the attorney.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer didn’t appear before the council Wednesday night, according to the report, but told the council in a letter that she had provided documentation regarding the case to the U.S. attorney in Newark.
Zimmer alleges that Gov. Chris Christie’s administration threatened to withhold funds to help the city recover from Superstorm Sandy unless she expedited a politically-connected development project.
Zimmer, a Democrat and former Christie ally, told MSNBC host Steve Kornacki that she was pressured by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno; Richard Constable, the current commissioner of community affairs; and Lori Grifa, the former commissioner, among others.
Christie's administration has denied the accusations.
FBI agents were involved in the investigation, according to a report on NBC News Thursday, questioning witnesses and telling them to “preserve all documents and emails relating to the allegations” by Zimmer.
Dan Bryan, the mayor’s chief of staff, and Juan Melli, her communications director, were among the Zimmer confidants questioned by the feds.
Guadagno over the weekend blasted Zimmer’s allegations as "completely false."