Feds to Audit N.J. Gov. Christie’s Use of Sandy Relief Funds

By Stacie Sherman and | January 13, 2014

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie faces a federal investigation over his use of $25 million of Hurricane Sandy relief money for a commercial he starred in promoting tourism at the New Jersey shore.

The inspector general’s office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit the marketing campaign, Congressman Frank Pallone, a Democrat from Long Branch, said in a statement today.

“At issue is the bidding process for the campaign and released documents which raise questions as to why the state chose to award the contract to a firm that charged the state over $2 million more than a comparable bid for similar work,” Pallone said in a statement.

It is the second federal investigation of Christie’s political activities disclosed within a week. A U.S. attorney is examining his administration’s involvement in the creation of a four-day traffic quagmire in the town of a mayor who didn’t endorse him.

Christie, a 51-year-old Republican, appeared in the “Stronger Than the Storm” campaign. Democratic lawmakers have said the ads gave the governor free publicity as he campaigned for a second term. He beat state Senator Barbara Buono in the November election by 22 percentage points.

Editor: Stephen Merelman