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N.J. Senate Calls For Probe After Accused Rapist Got State Job

October 16, 2018 - 6:02 pm
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TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- Even after New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he would look into what led an accused rapist to get a state job, the state Senate now wants to do an inquiry of its own.

As WCBS 880’s Steve Burns reported, a bipartisan six-member committee has been formed by the Democratic-controlled state Senate to further investigate state hiring practices.

"We obviously have some system breakdowns here and we are going to look at them," said state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck).

Weinberg is chair of the committee. She said the system failed Katie Brennan after Brennan accused a colleague on the Murphy campaign of raping her in April 2017.

“I think her case brought to light, unfortunately, a lot of areas where the system seemed to have failed her, and I think what the senate president is asking us to do in the committee that’s been appointed is to take an overall look at the state of New Jersey; what kind of anti-harassment policies are all over the state that should cover authorities, the administration, the Legislature, and all departments of state government,” Weinberg told WCBS 880’s Michael Wallace.

Brennan said she reached out to the administration three times, but her accused rapist, Albert Alvarez, remained on the job until just a few weeks ago.
 
"I think what the senate president is asking us to do in this committee is to take an overall look at the state of New Jersey, what kind of anti-harassment policies are in effect all over the state," Weinberg said.

On Monday, Murphy announced an investigation of his own, led by a former state attorney general.

“In this instance, the hiring process of the transition did not reflect our values, or the seriousness with which we believe allegations of assault should be taken, period,” Murphy said Monday.

He said the case made him sick to his stomach.

 “I think the governor himself has expressed concerns about what happened here. I mean, it appears from press reports that Miss Brennan did everything, used the phrase, ‘by the book.’ She reported it. She shared the information immediately with people close to her. She sought medical advice. So there are large gaps in how all of those steps were taken, and yet, this person was hired, and only forced to resign or chose to resign when all of this came out into the open,” Weinberg said.