NJ Politics Digest: Weinberg Slams Report on Brennan Case

The report blames the system for failing Brennan, but Sen. Weinberg said the report failed "to meet any reasonable standard for an investigation into the serious allegations of sexual assault.”

New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.
New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

A report commissioned by Gov. Phil Murphy to examine his administration’s hiring practices in the wake of a sexual assault scandal is being slammed by critics for failing to answer a fundamental question: Who gave the man accused of raping a Murphy campaign volunteer a highly paid state post?

As NJSpotlight reports, a state legislative committee investigating the hiring of Al Alvarez for the $140,000-per-year state post has called numerous Murphy administration officials, none of whom seem to know who hired Alvarez.

Alvarez, who denies the allegations against him, resigned his post after Murphy campaign volunteer Katie Brennan told her story to the Wall Street Journal. Brennan has said she went to the newspaper after trying for more than a year to get the Murphy administration to do something about Alvarez’s hiring.

When the scandal became public, Murphy claimed he knew nothing about the situation and commissioned the probe by former state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero. But on Wednesday State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg blasted the 73-page report that concluded the administration acted in good faith in responding to Brennan’s charges, Politico reports. The report blames “the system” for failing Brennan, and says Murphy wasn’t responsible for hiring Alvarez.

“This report…fails to meet any reasonable standard for an investigation into the serious allegations of sexual assault, the screening practices for hiring public employees, the failure to take responsibility by key officials, the continued failure to find out what went wrong and the reasons why no real actions were taken to address the plight of the alleged assault survivor,” Weinberg, who co-chairs the legislative committee investigating the scandal, said in a statement, according to Politico.

Quote of the Day: “It’s concerning that Alvarez, a close confidant of Governor Murphy, apparently was treated as the person who needed to be protected, not his accuser or others who worked around him,,” — Republican Sen. Kristin Corrado, on the Murphy administration report into its hiring practices after a high-level member of Murphy’s administration was accused of rape.

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NJ Politics Digest: Weinberg Slams Report on Brennan Case