#AceNewsReport – Jun.06: A legislative panel in New Jersey released a scathing report Wednesday saying Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration “seriously mishandled” a staffer’s sexual assault allegation: The New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee looked into the administration’s hiring practices and its handling of the claims brought forward by Katie Brennan, a top aide to Murphy: As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, the report found the governor’s inner circle mishandled the situation and even misled lawmakers about it: “It is not the system that failed Katie Brennan. It is the people who made up that system, and that includes law enforcement, as well as all the people named in this report,” New Jersey Sen. Loretta Weinberg said Wednesday.
Web Extra: Read The Committee’s Full Report
Brennan testified in December that Al Alvarez, then a campaign staffer, raped her in 2017 and that she reported the alleged assault to people who work closely with Murphy. Despite this, Alvarez was later hired at $140,000 a year: The report concluded the administration should have investigated Brennan’s claims before hiring Alvarez. It also found her rape claim was not taken seriously enough by the administration and Murphy’s aides made a mistake in not telling the governor about the incident.
“I think that when you have a team around you, especially someone like the governor, I think it’s up to him,” said Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin. “That’s his decision to make as to whether he feels fit – that some of the people that are around him could really do more help or harm.” The report also laid out the framework for legislation to make sure situations like this are handled properly in the future.
Alvarez maintains his innocence. Two prosecutors did not bring charges against him, citing a lack of evidence: The committee’s attorney said the panel simply reported the facts and any filing of criminal charges in the case is up to state prosecutors.
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