Christie officials cleared of strong-arm allegations

Newark (CNN)U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman on Friday cleared senior officials in Republican Gov. Chris Christie's administration of allegations that they tried to strong-arm a Democratic mayor.

Last year, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer accused New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, then-state Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable and then-state storm recovery chief Marc Ferzan of threatening to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief funds unless she backed a redevelopment project.
On Friday, Fishman wrote to tell the three that the Justice Department and FBI investigated the allegations.
"Based on the evidence developed during the investigation and our review of the applicable law, we have concluded that no further action is warranted in this matter. Accordingly, the investigation of these allegations has been closed," Fishman wrote in letters to Guadagno and Constable that were obtained by CNN.
    Ferzan's lawyer, in an email to CNN, said he also received a letter from the Justice Department Friday confirming the matter was closed.
    "We are pleased that after a thorough investigation, the Department of Justice has concluded that the claims made by the mayor of Hoboken had no basis in law or fact, and closed out the investigation, and, as expected, DOJ concluded Mr. Ferzan appropriately and responsibly administered his professional duties," wrote Ferzan's lawyer, George Stamboulidis.
    In an email to CNN, Constable's lawyer, Brian Neary, said, "We're pleased that after a thorough investigation, the United States attorney has closed the matter and concluded that Mayor Zimmer's claims were unfounded."
    All three denied the allegations at the time. Zimmer, whose story changed with the telling, reiterated her allegations Friday.
    "I stand behind my account which was corroborated by substantial additional evidence. In addition to my contemporaneous journal entry, I told six people about the conversation on the day it occurred, including a lawyer representing the City of Hoboken," she said in a statement.