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Katie Brennan

Brennan attorney rips Murphy on new policy

Says ‘policies are only impactful to the extent that they are followed’

By David Wildstein, February 06 2019 9:20 am

An attorney for Katie Brennan, who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by Murphy campaign/administration official Al Alvarez, says she is disappointed by the details of a clarification of a state policy to include sexual harassment laws to gubernatorial transition offices.

Katy McClure says that none of the recommendations made by the Murphy administration addressed issues brought forward by Brennan in her lawsuit against the state.

“Until the State expressly renounces its current Strict Confidentiality Directive, State employees who are victims of sexual misconduct will continue to face discipline, up to termination, if they speak about any aspect of the state’s investigation into their complaints of sexual misconduct,” McClure said.

McClure said that “Requiring survivors to keep their complaints confidential is a gross violation of their constitutional and statutory rights.”

“We also hope that Gov. Murphy will sign the bill on his desk, prohibiting secrecy via Non-Disclosure Agreements, which has passed the Senate and Assembly,” said McClure.  “And we hope he will lift the veil of secrecy regarding who, in State government, hired Al Alvarez. After seven days of testimony, the Administration’s inability to provide an answer to this very simple question is beyond perplexing.”

Brennan’s lawyer said that “New Jersey should strive to foster an environment in which sexual assault and harassment victims are supported with respect and dignity in advancing their complaints through a transparent process.

“Ultimately, policies are only impactful to the extent they are followed,” said McClure.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday announced a new set of state policies related to the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against state employees.

“These sweeping revised policies and procedures make significant and impactful changes to how sexual harassment and misconduct allegations are handled in state government,” Murphy said. “These additional measures clearly dictate the appropriate course of action to be taken by both survivors and the state.”

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