Christie Administration Delayed Oversight Of Sandy Relief Money, Report Says

The allegations come at a time when Gov. Chris Christie already is under fire for new revelations in the "Bridgegate" scandal.

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).
By Tom Davis

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.


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