State Sen. Steve Oroho said the Select Committee investigating the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez should call Gov. Phil Murphy if it’ll help them find out who hired Alvarez.
“Whoever can help provide an answer, whether they’re inside the government or outside the government, I think the committee should call them — call that person — including the governor,” Oroho, one of the committee’s Republican members, said.
The committee’s members have grown increasingly frustrated in their quest to find the identity of the person who gave Alvarez a job with a $140,000 salary at the SDA.
Numerous top-ranking officials in Murphy’s administration and transition, including former Murphy chief of staff Pete Cammarano, Murphy chief counsel Matt Platkin and Murphy transition executive director Jose Lozano, have said under oath that they did not hire Alvarez and that they did not know who did.
Murphy has said he does not know who hired Alvarez, who was deputy director of personnel for Murphy’s transition team.
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.
Oroho thinks Murphy might be able to help clear up the circumstances of Alvarez’s hiring, even if he doesn’t appear before the committee directly.
“The governor could clear this very simply. Just ask anybody in his staff: How did Al Alvarez get hired and how did he get protected?” Oroho said. “I don’t think it’s necessary even for the governor to come here, but if that’s what it takes, then that’s what it takes.”