Sexual Assault Charge Hits Close to Home: Why NJ Official Hired After Accused of Sexual Assault


Governor Phil Murphy recently launched an investigation into an accusation that a former campaign staffer Albert J. Alvarez was hired for a top state job after he was accused of sexual assault.

The accuser, Katie Brennan, chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, alleged that Alvarez sexually assaulted her in July 2017. At that time, Alvarez was director of Latino and Muslim community outreach for the governor’s campaign; Brennan was not involved with the campaign.

Brennan states that, while she was being attacked in her home, she told the alleged assailant to stop and that it is not consensual. The victim called the police the next day and went through a sexual assault examination a day later.

Alleged Assailant Never Charged Despite Multiple Notices

Brennan maintains that she told Murphy’s staff about the alleged assault three times after the November election, but Alvarez was never charged. The victim called the Hudson County prosecutor’s office routinely to check the status of the claim. Brennan accuses several senior-level members of the Murphy administration of inaction after they became aware of the assault.

Through his attorney, Alvarez denies allegations of sexual assault. He had resigned as chief of staff of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority earlier in October.

Brennan made her accusations public in an online Wall Street Journalarticle. Governor Murphy maintains that he became aware of the allegations on October 2, 2018, when the Wall Street Journal informed his office of its findings.

Governor Murphy Promises a Real Investigation

The Governor called for a complete investigation into the matter, focusing on why Alvarez was hired after Murphy’s transition team was made aware of the allegation. A former justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, who now works for a law firm, will oversee the investigation. 

The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office will be conducting an independent review of the investigation. Governor Murphy has also asked the state’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action office to review how sexual misconduct allegations are handled. 

In a statement, Brennan called for change in how New Jersey handles sexual assault charges and for the elimination of the statute of limitations on civil action related to sexual assault.

We Can Help with a Sexual Abuse or Assault Issue

If you or a family member has experienced bullyingsexual assaultsexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.