Saturday, July 12, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Report: Feds look into Christie's spending on Sandy tourism funds

File: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama walk over to visitors at McGuire Air Force Base,, N.J. Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The President and Governor later left for an appearance at Asbury Park, one of the many Jersey shore communities devastated by Super Storm Sandy. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz/File)
File: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and President Barack Obama walk over to visitors at McGuire Air Force Base,, N.J. Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The President and Governor later left for an appearance at Asbury Park, one of the many Jersey shore communities devastated by Super Storm Sandy. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz/File)

CNN is reporting that federal authorities are examining Gov. Christie’s use of Superstorm Sandy relief funds on a tourism marketing campaign that featured his family.

The report comes in the immediate wake of last week’s disclosures about a top Christie staffer’s involvement in closing down lanes on the George Washington Bridge heading into New York in September that caused massive backups. The closures, disguised as traffic studies, appear to have been aimed at Fort Lee’s Democratic Mayor as part of a political retaliation – although none of the documents released show Christie was aware of that.

CNN said federal auditors are scrutinizing $25 million in Sandy funds that went to promote tourism at the Jersey Shore to lure people back after the Oct. 2012 storm battered the coast. The source of the story was U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-NJ.

Pallone told the news organization he sent a letter in August to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general. Pallone requested the office examine how Christie’s administration spent the marketing money.

Neither the governor's office nor the inspector general's office would comment to CNN.

At issue for Pallone was that the winning firm charged New Jersey $2 million more than the next lowest bidder. The winning $4.7 million bid featured the Christies in ads, while the lower bid did not.

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