NORTH BERGEN — Gov. Phil Murphy talked about the controversy surrounding the hiring of Albert Alvarez despite allegations of rape by made by Katie Brennan while they both worked for the Murphy campaign.

After cutting the ribbon at the 69th Street Bridge in North Bergen, Murphy said he is committed to making the policy and procedures changes the report recommended in a report filed by former state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero, who’d been hired to examine how the state hired and kept on a high-ranking official known to have been accused of rape.

He said he understands that people are frustrated by the things it doesn’t answer, like who hired Alvarez, and that he shares that frustration.

"You know what I know," Murphy said to reporters.

He reiterated wished he had been told sooner but thinks people exercised what they thought was their best judgement at the time.

“One thing we can be clear about: The buck stops with me. I’ve taken responsibility for what happened. More importantly, I’m taking responsibility for fixing it.”

Murphy says the report finds his transition generally did a good job vetting job candidates but lacked proper documentation.

The governor sidestepped a question regarding a suggestion by Republican state Senator Kristin Corrado that he testify before a joint legislative committee looking into the handling of Brennan's allegations and said he did was not aware of it.

“What’s most important is we’re committed to ensuring that we implement the recommended policies and procedures laid out in this report.”

Murphy said he wishes he had known earlier about the situation and wants to make sure no one else goes through an ordeal like Brennan's .

“My responsibility going forward is to make sure if we go through this horror again — and please, God, I hope we don’t — that there’s not another survivor out there that has to go through what Katie’s gone through, that we get this right next time.”

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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