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Albert Alvarez

Trenton’s unsolved mysteries

Who hired Alvarez? When did Suarez find out?

By David Wildstein, January 30 2019 5:25 am

Now there are two unsolved mysteries facing he New Jersey Legislative Select Oversight Committee:

1.  Who hired Al Alvarez?
2.  When did Esther Suarez find out her office was investigating Alvarez for sexual assault?

The scandalette is unlikely to go away until those questions get answered.

The first puzzle has frustrated legislators, leading some to openly speculate if Alvarez hired himself.  So far, every witness had denied any knowledge of who hired Alvarez, including Gov. Phil Murphy’s former chief of staff, chief counsel and transition chairman.  Murphy’s former campaign manager, Brendan Gill, told the Star-Ledger it wasn’t him.

The legislative committee has an option that could settle the whodunit: subpoena Alvarez’s personal and business phone records.  His call lists after Pete Cammarano and Charlie McKenna told him to pack his bags might offer some clues about who resides in Alvarez’s universe.  There’s a decent chance one of them will be the person who offered him the job.

They can also subpoena his personal emails on those dates — and his text messages, unless some former governor has his phone.

The emergence of internal Hudson County prosecutor’s office emails show that the identity of Alvarez, a Murphy campaign staffer was provided to Suarez.  There is no evidence that Suarez or her chief of staff read those emails, although metadata could shed some light on that.

The panel also had an opportunity to take Suarez up on her offer and ask her to testify and convince her to supply them with the records they asked for.

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