Sen. Kristin Corrado and Sen. Steve Oroho are calling for the Select Committee on Oversight to look into the hiring of two members of Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration — one past, one present — that the committee was drafted to investigate but has not.
By and large, the committee’s primary focus to date has been investigating the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez, whom state housing agency chief of staff Katie Brennan has accused of sexual assault.
But, the resolution creating the committee also charged it with probing the hiring of Marcellus Jackson, who resigned from his post as an aide to Department of Education Commissioner Lamont Repollet in September, and Derrick Green, who holds a State Department job with a $155,000 salary.
“While our committee was formed to investigate these hirings in total, we have focused to date almost exclusively on Alvarez’s employment,” Corrado, a Select Committee vice-chair, said. “It’s imperative that we not overlook our larger mission and what we seek to accomplish to protect both our valued public employees and New Jersey taxpayers.”
Jackson resigned from his post after it was reported that he had previously been convicted of accepting bribes. State law essentially bars those convicted of a federal crime or a crime in another state from holding public employment.
Green still holds his job at state and has fallen under scrutiny largely because of his connection to a 2012 campaign finance scandal in Bermuda as well as his ties to Jackson, who was once employed by Green’s firm, Green Consulting.
“There is a disturbing pattern of questionable hires by the Murphy Administration that has never been investigated in full or reasonably explained,” Oroho said. “The tone at the top sets the standard for all administrations.”
It’s unlikely that the committee will expand the breadth of its investigations at this point in time. While committee co-chairs Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg have not ruled out calling additional witnesses or scheduling further hearings, the committee has entered its final stages.
On Monday, Pintor Marin told the New Jersey Globe that Tuesday’s hearing could be the committee’s last.
Probes into Green’s and Jackson’s hirings are made more unlikely by the fast approach of budget season. Pintor Marin chairs the Assembly Budget Committee. Murphy is due to give his budget address on March 5.