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Katie Brennan

Katie Brennan lawsuit settled for $1 million

By David Wildstein, May 15 2020 1:37 pm

Katie Brennan has settled a civil lawsuit against the State of New Jersey, Murphy for Governor, and former Murphy staffer Al Alvarez for $1 million after Brennan claimed that Alvarez raped her during Phil Murphy’s 2017 gubernatorial campaign.

Brennan, the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, accused Alvarez of sexually assaulting her in April 2017, when he was in charge of Muslim and Latino outreach for Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, for which Brennan would later volunteer.

The state will pay 80% of the settlement and 20% will come from the Murphy campaign’s insurance carrier.  Alvarez will not contribute toward the settlement.

Brennan was able to choose a charity to receive $600,000 of the settlement.  She picked The Waterfront Project, a non-profit that helps low-income residents in Hudson County.

Her attorney received $400,000 for their representation.

“I think it’s a fair and meaningful settlement,” Murphy said on Friday.

Brennan and Alvarez will participate in a Restorative Justice process, and Alvarez has agreed to attend an anti-sexual harassment class.

According to a press release issued by Brennan’s attorneys, Smith Eibeler LLC, the state agreed to some of Brennan’s recommendations of changes to state policies on sexual harassment and assault.

“Living in silence did not serve me or any other survivors in this state. Speaking out gave me great strength,” Brennan said. “From legislation and the release from NDAs, to greater awareness of harassment and assault, we’ve made great progress. Each reform sets us on a path toward justice. Each reform makes it worth the pain.”

The New Jersey Division of Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action will allow alleged victims of discrimination, harassment or retaliation to be accompanied by an advisor or support person during their interview.


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