Gov. Christie holds first town hall since ‘Bridgegate’ scandal broke

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MIDDLETOWN, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is blaming the federal government for failing to allocate enough money to the state to fully recover from Superstorm Sandy.

Christie says the total allocation could fall $20 billion short of rebuilding needs.

The governor returned to Republican-dominated Monmouth County for his first town hall since a political payback scandal engulfed his administration. In his opening remarks, he did not mention the plot to block traffic near the George Washington Bridge.

Christie’s administration has been criticized for the slow pace and confusing way the first $1.8 billion in federal storm aid is being distributed. The administration also is enmeshed in allegations that it leveraged storm recovery funds to win approval for a favored development project.

The governor’s office has denied all charges.