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Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Coughlin to join Sweeney on Alvarez probe

Joint committee will investigate handling of sexual assault allegations against ex-administration official

By David Wildstein, October 16 2018 4:57 pm

Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin has announced that the Assembly will join with the State Senate to create a joint Select Committee on Investigation to investigate the handling of sexual assault allegations against Albert Alvarez, a former Murphy administration official, according to an source who was not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

Still undetermined is whether the committee will be granted subpoena power, something many experts say is an integral part of a through investigation.

“Members of the panel will be committed to thoroughly examining the issues that have come to light in recent news accounts regarding sexual misconduct, and will ensure a hearing process that is fair and transparent,” the Speaker said.

Senate President Steve Sweeney announced earlier today that the Senate had formed a bipartisan committee to be chaired by Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg.

Coughlin has not yet settled on the Assembly chair.  He said members of the panel would be named soon.

“Ms. Brennan was remarkably brave to come forward with her heartbreaking account of the assault she endured. Her description was painful to read, as it detailed the abhorrent behavior to which she was subjected,” said Coughlin. “Ms. Brennan deserved to be heard, respected and believed. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I will not allow future victims to be subjected to the same unacceptable response. This committee will determine why the current system failed Ms. Brennan and what reforms must be enacted.”

 

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