State Sen. Kristin Corrado wants Gov. Phil Murphy to testify under oath before the Select Committee on Oversight.
“Numerous administration officials testified that — apart from the Governor himself — only three men had the authority to make a decision on the hiring of Al Alvarez: Pete Cammarano, Matt Platkin, and Jose Lozano,” Corrado, a Select Committee vice-chair, said. “All three have now testified under oath that they played no role in the hiring. Basic common sense and a simple process of elimination suggest that it’s time for the Governor himself to visit our Committee to explain his role in the hiring process.”
Corrado’s statement comes amid a wave of backlash from legislators on the Select Committee in response to a report by former State Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero’s on his investigation into the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez.
Verniero’s report, released Wednesday morning, offered little information not already uncovered by the Select Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, co-chair of the Select Committee, said the report was more focused on exonerating those involved in Alvarez’s hiring than finding the truth.
“Gov. Murphy is seriously mistaken if he thinks he can sweep this matter under the rug with a superficial report and a few administrative rule changes,” Corrado said. “The report raises new concerns as it adds to the list of discrepancies related to sworn testimony provided to our legislative oversight committee by top staff in the Governor’s inner circle.”
State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan has 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.