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Katie Brennan

Brennan says AG didn’t ask her about Suarez

‘They have not heard my story directly,” Brennan says

By David Wildstein, November 29 2018 10:32 pm

This story was updated with comment from the Office of the Attorney General at 11:40 PM.

In a statement issued this evening, Katie Brennan says that the Attorney General’s office never interviewed her as part of their review of their review of Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez’s role into Brennan’s allegation that former Murphy administration official Albert Alvarez sexually assaulted her in 2017.

“The integrity of every government body involved in the Attorney General’s investigation has been called into question. I am deeply discouraged that the Attorney General’s Office could rush to its conclusion without the Attorney General or Office of Public Integrity and Accountability ever even requesting to speak with me. They have not heard my story directly. They have not allowed my concerns to be heard or asked me any clarifying questions.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on Tuesday that Suarez had been cleared of any wrongdoing after  the Office of Public Integrity & Accountability conducted a review of Suarez’s role in the probe.

“Had I been asked, I would have told them that, contrary to some reports, the first and only time I met Prosecutor Suarez was at a dinner on August 30, 2018. “

Brennan said that the Attorney General’s swift conclusion that the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office acted properly in my case may bring a sense of relief to some.

“However, for those, like me, who have not yet seen justice in New Jersey, the Attorney General’s decision only heightens my already grave concerns about the treatment of sexual assault victims in the investigation process,” Brennan said.  “It is my hope that this State’s elected officials and others in law enforcement continue to push for clarity, transparency, and justice in my and other sexual assault cases in New Jersey so that future victims don’t have to suffer through this terrible process.”

Sharon Lauchiere, a spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, told the New Jersey Globe late Thursday night that there appears to be confusion about Grewal’s letter to legislative leaders about the investigation conducted by the Office of Public Integrity & Accountability.

“OPIA’s investigation was narrow in scope: was Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez personally involved in the 2017 investigation of a sexual assault allegation, and did her familiarity with both the victim and the alleged assailant present an inappropriate conflict of interest. OPIA concluded that Prosecutor Suarez was not personally involved in the investigation and therefore did not act inappropriately in this regard,” Lauchiere said.  “OPIA did not opine on any other aspect of the handling of this investigation or the substance of the underlying sexual assault allegations. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing those allegations and will make its own independent conclusion about whether criminal charges are appropriate.”

 

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