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

First Select Committee hearing slated for Dec. 4

Body organizational meeting scheduled for Nov. 8

By Nikita Biryukov, November 03 2018 2:00 pm

The Select Committee on Oversight will have its first full meeting on Dec. 4, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who is the committee’s co-chair, told the New Jersey Globe on Saturday.

Before then, Weinberg said, the committee will meet on Nov. 8 for an organizational meeting.

“Both Assemblywoman Pintor Marin and I have met,” Weinberg said. “We’ve met with our attorneys. We are both engaged fully in making sure that the goals of this committee are the appropriate goals.”

Weinberg, who appeared with Gov. Phil Murphy at a political event Saturday, focused on the committee’s forthcoming examination of the state’s policies governing how harassment and sexual assault cases handled, mentioning also Katie Brennan’s case specifically but not naming directly the committee’s investigation of the Murphy administration’s hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff.

She also said she hopes that Brennan, who is chief of staff at the state’s Housing Agency, would appear before the committee, a subject that Senate President Steve Sweeney demurred on following a legislative session on Oct. 26.

“I believe, everything I’ve read about her, that she is devoted to also making this about policies and procedures that would avoid her feelings of not getting an appropriate hearing,” Weinberg said.

Weinberg said she doesn’t expect the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s investigation into Brennan’s allegations of sexual assault against Alvarez to bar the former from appearing before the committee, though she intimated that events over the coming weeks could change that expectation.

Concerns over the committee’s work muddying the Middlesex prosecutor’s investigation into Brennan’s allegation were the cause for an amendment to the joint resolution creating the select committee.

That amendment barred the committee from looking into the Hudson County prosecutor’s handling of Brennan’s allegations. Brennan brought her charges to that official first but was told the office would not pursue a case against Alvarez.

The committee won’t begin its investigation into the appropriateness of those actions until State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal’s office finishes its review of the Hudson prosecutor’s actions, or until Jan. 5, 2019, whichever comes first.

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