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N.J. wants to reform how it handles sex assault claims

Samantha Marcus | November 18, 2019 | NJ Advance Media |


Thirteen months after Katie Brennan’s allegation of rape against another top Murphy administration staffer went public, the state Legislature has turned its attention again to legislation reforming how state government handles sex assault claims.

The nine bills were approved Monday by the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee without any discussion. The same bills cleared an Assembly committee this summer. All would have to be passed by the full Senate and Assembly and signed by the governor to become law.

The legislation came out of the Legislature’s months-long investigation into how the Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration responded to Brennan’s allegation that she was raped by another top aide during Murphy’s 2017 run for governor after a campaign gathering.

Brennan did not work for the campaign at the time. But the man she has accused, Albert J. Alvarez, was director of Latino and Muslim outreach for the campaign. Brennan would go on to become chief of staff for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, while Alvarez became deputy director of personnel for the transition after Murphy won the election and then chief of staff to the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. He left that job in October of last year.


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