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Former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Ciattarelli announces anti-harassment policy

Former assemblyman hits Murphy on workplace issues

By Nikita Biryukov, February 13 2020 1:49 pm

Gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli announced his campaign’s anti-harassment policy Thursday.

Former State Sen. Diane Allen will serve as the campaign’s point person for harassment and other toxic workplace investigations.

Members of the campaign, including staff, volunteers and outside consultants, can report problems directly to Allen.

“I know what it’s like to work in a toxic workplace,” she said. “I would never want anybody to have to do that, and I will do my best to make sure that doesn’t exist and that any issues that people have in this campaign will be quickly dealt with so that people can go on to be the best they can be.”

Allen, a former broadcast news anchor, filed a discrimination lawsuit against WCAU-TV in 1994 after the station cut her anchoring duties a few years earlier.

Her suit, which alleged age and gender discrimination, was later settled out of court.

The early focus on workplace issues was spawned out of Gov. Phil Murphy’s troubles in that field.

Murphy’s administration, transition and campaign have been rocked by a series of claimed that alleged the governor was unresponsive to workplace issues.

Most recently, Adam Alonso, a former Murphy deputy chief of staff who had worked closely with the Democratic State Committee was accused of creating a hostile work environment at the Democratic National Convention’s host committee in Milwaukee.

Alonso’s accusers charged he berated women and directed contracts to political allies in New Jersey.

He’s since lost his position as the host committee’s chief of staff, and the DSC has cut ties with his consulting firm, the Cratos Group.

“I think it’s a little disturbing, quite frankly, that our governor did not react to reports within his own campaign but then when we get reports of Adam Alonso’s conduct from 1,500 miles away, he was let go by the Democratic Committee here in New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said. “That doesn’t add up for me. Why did we not believe women here in New Jersey yet we believe women in Milwaukee.”

Julie Roginsky, a longtime Democratic operative who has railed against campaign use of non-disclosure agreements, said Brendan Gill used the C-word in an argument with her during Murphy’s campaign, which Gill managed.

Gill denies the incident.

She said she was eventually fired after reporting workplace issues on the campaign.

Ciattarelli said his campaign will not employ NDAs of any kind.

“In my opinion, there is no need for them in political campaigns,” he said. “If any candidate feels they need an NDA, I would suggest they’re picking the wrong people to work on their campaign team.”

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