Christie's Sandy ads under investigation - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Christie's Sandy ads under investigation

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Gov. Chris Christie(R-NJ) (MyFoxNY.com/file photo) Gov. Chris Christie(R-NJ) (MyFoxNY.com/file photo)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) - Federal auditors are conducting an investigation into the $25 million in Sandy relief money used for promoting tourism to New Jersey following the destructive storm in 2012, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) confirmed to Fox 5 News.

The vocal critic of NJ Gov. Chris Christie says he sent a letter in August to the Department of Housing and Urban Development inspector general to examine how Christie chose to spend the marketing money.

The governor and his family are featured extensively in the campaign advertisements.  The money spent on the ads could have been used in recovery efforts, Rep. Pallone claims.

A Christie spokesman issued a statement on the "conveniently-timed announcement" saying:  "The Stronger Than The Storm campaign was just one part of the first action plan approved by the Obama Administration and developed with the goal of effectively communicating that the Jersey Shore was open for business during the first summer after Sandy.  Federal agency reviews are routine and standard operating procedure with all federally allocated resources to ensure that funds are distributed fairly. We're confident that any review will show that the ads were a key part in helping New Jersey get back on its feet after being struck by the worst storm in state history."

The investigation comes at a difficult time for the Christie administration which is under intense scrutiny for a scandal involving top staff members and the George Washington Bridge.

Christie fired a top aide and cut ties with a campaign adviser after it was discovered in several emails that they had apparently ordered the closure of several lanes leading to the GWB as punishment for the mayor of Fort Lee not endorsing the governor for re-election.

Christie apologized and denied involvement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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