Trenton NJ, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the co-chair of the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Commitee, issued the following statement today in response to the Verniero Report:
“Unfortunately, this report falls short of the comprehensive investigation promised by the governor. It 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.
Trenton NJ, in an astonishing turn of events an independent investigation by former State Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero failed to find out who was responsible for hiring former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez.
Alvarez is at the center of rape allegations by former Murphy staffer State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan alleged that Alvarez sexually assaulted her in April 2017, when Alvarez was in charge of Muslim and Latino outreach for Murphy’s campaign, for which Brennan would later volunteer.
Trenton NJ, A state government employee Katie Brennan who says her allegations that she was sexually assaulted by a campaign staffer to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy were ignored or downplayed has filed a notice of intent to sue New Jersey for damages.
An attorney for Katie Brennan filed the notice of tort claim last week.The notice alleges the state, including Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, acted negligently and with reckless indifference when it hired Albert Alvarez.Brennan says Alvarez sexually assaulted her in 2017 during Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign and that she told several officials in Murphy’s administration.
Trenton NJ, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi’s interview with David Cruz and NJTV today on how the system failed Katie Brennan.
“The most important take-away thus far is how many times the system failed her,” said Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi. “So here you have a situation where it wasn’t an allegation of, ‘Hey, someone was mean to me on the campaign trail.’ It was, ‘I was sexually assaulted by this person who’s now in charge of personnel decisions and nobody ever took a step to investigate.’”
Schepisi says what she heard was a lack of clarity on whether protocols for follow up were even in place. And that made it possible for someone who had a “curious lack of curiosity” to simply pass the buck.
“It just became a convenient ‘not it,’ ‘hot potato’ type of thing to say, well, you don’t fall specifically into a particular set of rules right now, so we’re not going to do anything on this,” she added.