Corrado Slaps Away at Murphy Following Release of Verniero Report

Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) said Governor Phil Murphy should not be “allowed to sweep a hiring scandal under the rug,” with key questions unanswered and major discrepancies in the stories told by current and former staff in the governor’s inner circle.

The report commissioned by Governor Murphy doesn’t get us any further in understanding who was responsible for hiring someone with serious allegations into a high level position in the Governor’s administration,” said Corrado, a vice-chair of the New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee. “Neither the Governor nor his staff will give us a clear and definitive answer to the important question of who hired Al Alvarez, and nobody has been held accountable for a string of failures that continued for nearly a year after the allegations were first raised to senior officials. There are numerous inconsistencies in the stories of Murphy Administration officials that must be resolved. While the report claims it was the system that failed Katie Brennan, it was in fact the Governor and senior officials in his transition office and administration who failed her.”

Corrado’s comments followed the release of a report commissioned by the Governor to address concerns related to the vetting and hiring practices of his transition office and subsequent administration, including the employment of Albert J. Alvarez, following the revelation of sexual assault allegations by Katie Brennan.

In apparent conjunction with the release of the report he commissioned, Governor Murphy announced proposed changes to the New Jersey Administrative Code.

“Governor Murphy is seriously mistaken if he thinks he can sweep this matter under the rug with a superficial report and a few administrative rule changes,” said Corrado. “The report raises new concerns as it adds to the list of discrepancies related to sworn testimony provided to our legislative oversight committee by top staff in the Governor’s inner circle. 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.”

Corrado concluded, “Numerous administration officials testified that — apart from the Governor himself — only three men had the authority to make a decision on the hiring of Al Alvarez:  Pete Cammarano, Matt Platkin, and Jose Lozano. All three have now testified under oath that they played no role in the hiring. Basic common sense and a simple process of elimination suggest that it’s time for the Governor himself to visit our Committee to explain his role in the hiring process.”

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