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Feds probing Gov. Christie’s use of Superstorm Sandy money

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‘I did not know him’: Christie tries to distance himself from mayor, Bridgegate

The Christie administration spent $25 million to promote the Jersey shore after Sandy.

TRENTON, N.J. (AP/PIX11) — Federal officials are taking a closer look at how New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration spent $25 million to promote the Jersey shore in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone Jr.’s office says the inspector general at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will audit the campaign, which featured commercials in which the Republican governor and his family appeared.

HUD’s Inspector General’s Office conducted a basic review of the issue at Pallone’s urging last year. Pallone says the office found enough evidence to justify a full audit of federal funds.

The administration paid $4.7 million to a politically connected public relations company over another firm that had bid $2 million less. The winning bidder proposed using Christie in the ads, while the other bidder did not.

A Christie spokesperson released a statement to CNN Monday stating, “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.”