When did Murphy really know of sexual assault claim?
Katie Brennan says she was sexually assaulted by Albert J. Alvarez during Phil Murphy's campaign. They both worked on his campaign. She reported it to police the day after it happened. She says she sought medical attention and had DNA and saliva to back up her claim. She told her husband and a close friend right after it happened. Yet prosecutors in Hudson County wouldn't bring charges.
She went on to become the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and Alvarez went on to become chief of staff of the New Jersey Schools Development Authority. His annual salary was $140,000.
For a year she has sought justice. Multiple times she has approached Gov. Murphy's inner circle, telling people very high up in his administration what happened. The first time was her alerting the transition team after Murphy won. The next time was in March when she informed Matt Platkin, who is chief counsel to the governor, about the sexual assault. He is said to have referred the matter to an ethics official in the governor's office and that official referred it to the state Attorney General. Still nothing happened. Eventually, on June 1, Brennan says she emailed Phil Murphy directly saying she wanted to discuss a "sensitive matter." While the email did not specifically mention sexual assault, according to the Wall Street Journal Murphy wrote back, "Hang in. We are on it."
Murphy never met with her. A campaign attorney contacted her to assure her Alvarez would no longer have a job. Yet four months later he still did. He only resigned days ago once reporters got wind of the story. That's what it took. A spotlight on the cockroaches before they would scatter.
Now Murphy is claiming he never knew of the sexual assault claim until very recently. I would posit that would be virtually impossible. How did the transition team know, along with Matt Platkin, an ethics official, the Attorney General's office and a campaign attorney, without Murphy ever being told? No way. Also, if he indeed wrote back to Brennan's June 1 email the words 'hang in, we are on it', what exactly was Murphy and his crew 'on'? They were on something he knew nothing about? Does that make any sense?
Of course now he comes out with bluster and bravado about how much he cares and how there will be a full investigation and how his investigation won't be a sham investigation like the FBI investigation into the alleged misconduct of Brett Kavannaugh. He knows what a hypocrite this scandal makes him seem after his Kavannaugh outrage, so the best defense is a good offense.
Meanwhile, Loretta Weinberg is even calling for a special joint legislative committee to hold hearings to delve into the matter. Which shouldn't just be about policies and protocol. It should get to the heart of the matter. What did Murphy know and when did he know it. If he indeed knew of this months ago and left Alvarez in his position, the governor needs to resign.
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