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Jonathan Berkon, right, the counsel to the Murphy for Governor campaign, testifies before a New Jersey legislative committee on January 8, 2019.

Treasurer: Berkon not getting paid for dealing with Brennan

Perkins Coie has not billed Murphy campaign for dealing with Alvarez matter

By David Wildstein, January 09 2019 1:36 pm

Murphy for Governor campaign counsel Jonathan Berkon is not getting paid for being the intermediary between Gov. Phil Murphy and Katie Brennan, the governor’s campaign treasurer says.

Rob Long told the New Jersey Globe that no new legal bills have come from Berkon or his law firm, Perkins Coie, since the Murphy campaign ended

“There are none, even though he noted he got an email from the governor,” Long said.

Long specifically said that the campaign was “absolutely not”  paying Berkon for conversations he had with administration officials, including chief counsel Matt Platkin, and with Brennan regarding her allegation that Al Alvarez, a former Murphy campaign staffer and administration official, raped her in 2017.

The Murphy campaign still owes Perkins Coie $13,456 from an October 24, 2017 invoice, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.  No payments were made by the campaign to the law firm in 2018 and the amount of the debt remains unchanged.

Berkon testified yesterday that he continues to serve as campaign counsel and interacts with Long, now the deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.  Long still serves as Murphy’s campaign treasurer and also acted as their human resources director.

Several legislators asked Berkin yesterday why he was involved in a state government personnel matter when he was the campaign lawyer.

Long said there has been little for Berkon to do now that the campaign is over.  

“Just de minimis stuff,” Long said. “One or two minor issues.  We’ve had a few people who contributed to the campaign and subsequently found out they had pay-to-play issues.”

The Murphy for Governor committee is close to being shut down now that ELEC has completed their usual final audit, Long said.

“We’ll engage him (Berkon) to do close our paperwork,” said Long.

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