Federal investigators have launched an inquiry into whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie improperly used Superstorm Sandy relief funds to produce tourism ads that featured him and his family during his re-election campaign.
According to CNN, federal auditors will examine the use of $25 million in public funds for a marketing campaign aimed at reviving tourism on the Jersey Shore after major parts of the coastline had been decimated in the 2012 storm.
New Jersey Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone prompted the inquiry after asking the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in August to examine how Christie spent the marketing money approved by the department.
“This was money that could have directly been used for Sandy recovery. And, as you know, many of my constituents still haven’t gotten the money that is owed them to rebuild their homes or raise their homes or to help,” Pallone told CNN.
Pallone cited concerns about the bidding process for the firm that was awarded the marketing plan after it charged the state roughly $4.7 million, about $2 million more than the next lowest bidder, according to CNN. The winning bid featured Christie and his family in advertisements while the losing proposal did not.
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