Republican Sens. Tom Kean and Kristin Corrado renewed calls for an investigation into the hiring practices of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration after Katie Brennan, chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency and a former Murphy campaign aid, publicly accused former Schools Development Authority chief of sexually assaulting her.
The two senators also called for the legislature to review the state’s civil and criminal sexual assault statutes.
“The sexual assault alleged by Ms. Brennan was just the beginning of a story that is both heartbreaking and all too common among the victims of sex crimes,” said Kean, who is Senate Minority Leader. “Despite taking every reasonable step that a person subject to such a traumatic assault could be expected to take, Ms. Brennan was unable to find justice in either a court of law or with her employer. This should serve as a call to action for the Legislature to address these issues immediately.”
State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) said she was concerned about the governor’s lack of action.
“This incident shows that Governor Murphy has set a standard of tolerance for sexual assaulters as long as they haven’t been charged or his top staff believe it’s acceptable to hire such people. Either way, as the Governor likes to say, ‘the buck stops’ with him,” said Corrado. “A criminal justice system, where the victim does everything right, that isn’t capable of prosecuting sexual assaults effectively is clearly broken. This administration and this state must do better in protecting the victims of sexual assault.”
Brennan said she sought a criminal case against Alvarez, but prosecutors closed the case. Statute of limitations for civil cases involving sexual assault is two years.
“After spending an entire year pursuing a criminal case before hitting a dead end, I am left with less than one year to pursue civil action,” Brennan said in a statement earlier Sunday.