Murphy Launches Investigation Into Sexual Assault Allegations Against Former Administration Official

Oct 15, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says an investigation is underway into sexual assault allegations against a former administration official.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says an investigation is underway into sexual assault allegations against a former administration official.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Katie Brennan, now the chief of staff with the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, says she was assaulted by Albert Alvarez, in April 2017. Alvarez, served as Murphy’s campaign director of Latin and Muslim outreach and most recently worked for the state’s School Development Authority. He recently left that job but denies Brennan’s allegations.

Governor Murphy says former state Supreme Court justice Peter Verniero will oversee a probe.

“To undertake a systemic review of the hiring and vetting practices of the Governor elect’s transition office, including the hiring and vetting of Mr. Albert J. Alvarez regarding his position in the transition office and his eventual position with the New Jersey Schools Development Authority,” Murphy said, reading a statement issued by Verniero. 

In addition to Verniero’s investigation, The state’s attorney general’s office is also looking into the matter that will be overseen by the Middlesex County prosecutor’s office.  

Republicans in the New Jersey Legislature are calling for a Senate and Assembly joint investigation into the Murphy Administrations hiring practices.  Murphy says he’s unclear on the Legislature plans but says he also wants answers. 

“I don’t’ know on the process of legislation but I just want all of us, I plead with members of both parties, to stand up for Katie.  Let’s stand up for the likes of Katie that have happened or will happen going forward and make New Jersey a better place for those victims.”

Murphy expects the investigation to take months.