NJ Politics Digest: Committee Probing Accused Rapist’s Hiring to Have Subpoena Power

Gov. Phil Murphy

Gov. Phil Murphy Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The state Senate and Assembly on Monday both approved resolutions creating a special committee to investigate the state hiring practices under Gov. Phil Murphy in the wake of sexual assault allegations against a top education appointee.

The resolutions, approved without a single negative vote, also gives the committee subpoena power to compel witnesses to testify and produce records, according to reports.

The move comes following reports that Albert J. Alvarez landed a high-paying job as chief of staff to the Schools Development Authority even though the governor’s transition team had been notified he’d been accussed of raping a Murphy campaign volunteer.

Alvarez, who has denied the allegations and was not charged by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, resigned the job at the beginning of October once newspapers began inquiring about the incident.

In addition to probing Alvarez’s hiring, the committee will also investigate how the prosecutor’s office handled the case. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has already asked the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office to review the evidence collected by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Murphy, meanwhile, has launched his own investigation into the incident, hiring former state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero to head a probe into Alvarez’s hiring.

Quote of the Day: “I was used for click-bait,’’ —former Kenilworth schools superintendent Thomas Tramaglini, on the publicity he received after being arrested for defecating on a high school athletic field in Holmdel.

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NJ Politics Digest: Committee Probing Accused Rapist’s Hiring to Have Subpoena Power