Gov. Phil Murphy Chief Counsel Matt Platkin on Friday told the Special Committee investigating the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez that he did not order Alvarez to resign following a press inquiry about sexual assault allegations leveled against Alvarez by state housing agency chief of staff Katie Brennan.
Still, Platkin said he did not know if someone had ordered Alvarez to resign after that inquiry was made.
The exact circumstances of Alvarez’s departure from state government are in dispute.
SDA CEO Lizette Delgado-Polanco last week testified that Alvarez volunteered to resign after being the Wall Street Journal’s Kate King reached out to him seeking comment on Brennan’s allegations.
Alvarez denies that version of events. In a letter appealing a denied unemployment application sent to the Department of Labor, Alvarez claimed he was forced to resign and fax a copy of a resignation letter to the governor’s office.
Former Murphy chief of staff Pete Cammarano told Alvarez to resign in March after learning of Brennan’s allegations. He was again told to leave government service in June by then-SDA CEO Charles McKenna, who made the request at Platkin’s request.
Alvarez would remain at the SDA until Oct. 2. Platkin said he was unsure if Alvarez resigned or was fired at that time.