As the Select Committee hearing came to a close this afternoon following testimony from Al Alvarez, the committee chairs and co-chairs – Senator Weinberg, Senator Corrado, Assemblywoman Pintor Marin, and Assemblywoman Munoz – held a post-hearing press conference.
Responding to a question of whether she thinks Cammarano was responsible for Alvarez’s hiring at the SDA, Senator Weinberg said ”we think there was some sort of informal process’ due to the nature of the Governor’s relationship with Alvarez, a former campaign and transition official. ‘It’s not shocking to anyone’ that someone trusted would get a job in the new administration, she said, and that ‘someplace between the triumvirate of Lozano, Platkin, and Cammarano, he obviously got the job of his choice’.
Speaking to the transition process, Pintor Marin said ‘I don’t think anyone is surprised’ by the ‘crazy’ nature of the transition but at some point, a formal process needs to be put in place.
‘There was no formalizing of the hiring process’, she said.
‘There were a lot of inconsistencies today, and there have been in the past’, Weinberg said. “I think that’s going to take a much more in-depth review with our attorneys’.
Speaking on the Schools Development Authority and the current firestorm surrounding recent hirings and firings, Pintor Marin stated that ‘obviously its an important agency’ but that ‘as taxpayers, we want to make sure we’re doing the right thing’ and she hopes the Governor’s Office ‘takes a look into it’. Assemblywoman Munoz said the Budget Committee ‘will have an opportunity’ to review the issue.
‘Hopefully the Governor has found out what’s going on there’, said Weinberg. ‘And we will give them a little time to come forth. There were very serious allegations made’ at the authority. ‘I believe all of us, and certainly the taxpayers, and certainly the career long employees, employees long-standing, deserve a complete understanding of what took place, and why it took place, and who did it’.
Asked whether they believe Brennan mislead the committee, and would the committee have been formed in hindsight of the Politico report last night, Corrado said yes, saying that the committee was tasked with looking at the hiring process, not the single case of Alvarez.
On the future of the committee, Pintor Marin said this isn’t necessarily the end of the road for new testimony, saying ‘we have to figure out what the next step would be’.