One of the law firms serving as co-counsel to the Legislature’s Select Oversight Committee investigating the hiring of Al Alvarez also served as ethics counsel to Gov. Phil Murphy’s transition team.
Joseph Hayden, one of the state’s most respected criminal defense attorneys, was named the Assembly co-counsel last October.
That appointment came eleven months after another attorney at his firm, former Supreme Court Justice Gary Stein, was named as ethics counsel to the same transition team where Alvarez was hired as deputy director for personnel.
Katie Brennan, a Murphy administration appointee, is alleging that Alvarez raped her during the 2017 gubernatorial campaign. Alvarez was a top staffer on that race and Brennan was a volunteer at the time.
Hayden and Stein are both affiliated with Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, an influential North Jersey law firm.
According to a Murphy transition press release that was posted on the Pashman Stein website, “Justice Stein will ensure that all gubernatorial transition staff, committees, and volunteers adhere to all state ethics laws and will ensure transparency in Transition 2018’s operations.”
Murphy said that he was honored to have Stein on his team.
“Stein will be ensuring that my transition lives up to the highest standards of ethics and transparency, and will set the tone for my administration,” the governor-elect said in a statement November 2017.
Peter Verniero, who served on the Supreme Court with Stein, has been hired by the Murphy administration to conduct an internal investigation of the transition process and the Alvarez hiring.
Michael Stein, the former Justice’s son, is the chair and managing partner of Pashman Stein.
The firm announced Hayden’s appointment as co-counsel on their website. In that post, “Joe Hayden Joins Legislative Panel Investigating Governor Murphy’s Hiring Practices,” the firm inaccurate states that Hayden “was appointed by Governor Phil Murphy to join his legislative panel.”