Home>Governor>Alvarez testimony may touch on SDA patronage, Weinberg says

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe)

Alvarez testimony may touch on SDA patronage, Weinberg says

By Nikita Biryukov, March 07 2019 3:47 pm

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said it’s possible that former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez will be asked about patronage hires at the authority when he appears to testify before the Select Committee on Oversight on Tuesday.

“That certainly could come up,” Weinberg said. “We have not discussed any lines of questioning, but he was there when the restructuring took place.”

SDA CEO Lizette Delgado-Polanco, who is also Democratic state vice chair, has recently came under fire after the Bergen Record reported on a series of firings and possibly-nepotistic hirings at the authority.

Alvarez was still chief of staff at that time.

State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan has 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 committee issued a subpoena ordering Alvarez to appear, but the scope of the panel’s questions to him will likely be limited. Weinberg told NJ Advanced Media the scope of the committee’s questions to Alvarez will be limited to hiring practices and will not touch on the alleged sexual assault.

“Besides the obvious question, he should have a lot of input for us on what the hiring procedures were, what the vetting process was,” Weinberg said. “He was at the Schools Development Authority. I think there’s a lot of information he could be sharing with us.”

It’s possible the panel will finally learn Tuesday who hired Alvarez for his job at the SDA.

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