NJ Politics Digest: Alvarez Doesn’t Know Who Hired Him

Sen. Bob Menendez.
Sen. Bob Menendez. Kena Betancur/Getty Images

If a legislative committee thought they would finally learn who gave Al Alvarez, the man at the heart of the Murphy administration’s hiring scandal, a lucrative $140,000-per-year state patronage job, they were disappointed Tuesday.

Alvarez, who resigned his job under pressure after a former campaign volunteer for Gov. Phil Murphy went public with allegations he raped her, told the legislative committee he has no idea who hired him for the job at the state Schools Development Authority, according to reports.

While it was surprising that Alvarez claimed he didn’t know who gave him the job, he joins a long list of top Murphy administration officials who also claim they don’t know who was behind his hiring. The governor has also declined to say who gave his campaign’s former head of Muslim and Latino outreach the high-paying post in the SDA, which is now also under scrutiny after a newspaper investigation into the dismissal of long-time employees and the large number of patronage hires once Murphy took office.

Alvarez, who was never charged with rape and denies the allegations against him, did testify that Murphy’s chief counsel agreed to help him find another job once he left the SDA, Politico reports. Platkin has denied that claim.

While it had been thought Alvarez’s testimony might be the last the committee heard, it may conduct additional hearings, the panel’s co-chairs told the New Jersey Globe.

Quote of the Day: “I couldn’t tell you.” — Al Alvarez, former head of hispanic and muslim outreach for Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, when asked who gave him a $140,000-per-year patronage job at the state Schools Development Authority.

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