Katie Brennan has filed a lawsuit against the state of New Jersey, accusing it of using its policy for workplace discrimination to hide an alleged sexual assault from Governor Phil Murphy. The lawsuit further alleges that the state used the same policy to silence the alleged victim.
Brennan, a top housing official, accused former campaign staffer Albert J. Alvarez of a 2017 sexual assault. Although the victim called the police the next day, she maintains that Murphy’s staff did not act on the allegation. Governor Murphy launched an investigation into why Alvarez was hired after the assault allegation was made. You can read the background on this case in our earlier blog.
The lawsuit also names Alvarez and the Murphy campaign as defendants. The allegation has been denied by Alvarez.
Lawsuit Comes after Brennan Testimony about the Handling of Her Sexual Assault Claim
In late 2018, Brennan testified to the legislative committee about how her sexual assault claim had been handled during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign. Since she brought her story to The Wall Street Journal, she has felt ostracized in her New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency position.
The Office of Equal Employment and Affirmative Action has opened an investigation but under strict confidentiality under the state’s workplace discrimination policy. But Brennan has asked a judge to mandate that the state investigate her claims and declare that the confidentiality directive null and void. Brennan’s attorney views the confidentiality requirement as, in effect, silencing the alleged victim.
Governor Murphy has begun an independent investigation and has asked for a review of the state’s policies for handling sexual assault allegations. Murphy did not comment on the lawsuit but has stated that he believes that the system for reporting misconduct may be at fault in that Alvarez was allowed to be hired.
We will continue to monitor and report on this critical case for our state as the status of the lawsuit and multiple investigations unfold.
We Can Help If You Have Experienced Sexual Assault
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual 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 consultation. Attorney 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.