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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sworn in under cloud of scandals

By Daniel S Levine,

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was officially sworn in for his second term today, but that didn’t put a pause on the scandals surrounding his administration. Moments before his inauguration, legislators said they would combine their investigations into the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. Meanwhile, more officials are standing up for Christie in the Hoboken scandal.

The New Jersey state assembly and senate had launched their own investigations into what has been dubbed “bridgegate.” However, the two chambers decided to combine their efforts today. The announcement was made a half hour before the swearing-in ceremony.

“This isn’t a thumb in the eye of the governor,” state Senate President Steve Sweeney said when asked about the timing, notes the Daily News. “We’re all going to head over there and watch the governor’s swearing-in.”

Sweeney further explained, “We need to move forward in a unified way to get to the bottom of these issues that are seemingly growing by the minute.”

During his inauguration speech, Christie, a Republican, did not mention the scandals, but instead dismissed the notion that an “almighty government” can “fix any problem,” notes Reuters. “I do not believe that New Jerseyans want a bigger, more expensive government that penalizes success and then gives the pittance left to a few in the name of income equity,” he added.

Christie said that Republicans and Democrats have to compromise in his state. “We cannot fall victim to the attitude of Washington, D.C. ... that puts political wins ahead of policy agreements,” he said.

Meanwhile, Christie is also dealing with accusations from Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer, who claimed that she was told to support a development project Christie supported or her city would not get Superstorm Sandy relief funds. This claim was vehemently denied by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and CNN reports that other officials are calling Zimmer’s story false.

The allegations are “patently false and absurd on their face,” Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, an official Zimmer also claims threatened her, said. He welcomes a “full and thorough law enforcement review of her libelous claims.”

For her part, Zimmer has stuck with her story and said she’s “"willing to testify under oath.”

image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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