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State Sen. Kristin Corrado called for the Select Committee on Oversight to resume its investigations the hiring practices of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration Friday.
“The committee left some glaring unfinished business,” Corrado, a select committee vice chair, said. “Summer is over. We need to get back to Trenton, sort out the mess and hold the administration accountable for what has become a long and growing list of hiring scandals.”
The committee released its report on the investigation into the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez before the legislature broke session for the summer.
State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan accused Alvarez of sexually assaulting her in April 2017, when Alvarez was in charge of Muslim and Latino outreach for Murphy’s campaign, for which Brennan would later volunteer.
Though it was given broad authority to investigate hiring practices within Murphy’s administration, the committee focused solely upon Alvarez’s hiring, eschewing probes into other questionable hires made by Murphy’s administration.
Those other hires include Marcellus Jackson, who worked for the Department of Education despite having previously been convicted on federal corruption charges, and Derrick Green, who serves as senior adviser on diversity, faith, urban and regional growth to Murphy.
At the time of his hiring, Green was under investigation over his role in an alleged campaign finance scheme in Bermuda.
“I had been calling for an investigation into hiring even before the [select committee] was created, and the committee only scratched the surface,” Corrado said. “[To] get to the bottom of this, we need witnesses released from Gov. Murphy’s non-disclosure agreements so they can testify truthfully.”
Most recently, Murphy’s administration came under fire over the hiring of Passaic NAACP President Jeffrey Dye.
Dye, who lost his positions with the NAACP and Department of Labor after the New Jersey Globe reported on a series of anti-Semitic and anti-Latino statements and social media posts he made, was hired despite warning Assemblyman Gary Schaer made directly to Murphy.
“It’s alarming the administration would ignore the red flags and give this man a job,” Corrado said. “There is clearly a systemic problem in the front office. Doesn’t character count for anything when you want a job with the Murphy team?”
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg on Thursday said she would discuss restarting the select committee with legislative leadership, adding that she had no plans to do so at this time.