The New Jersey State Senate will subpoena the internal State Police investigation into the removal of progressive leader Sue Altman from a Senate committee hearing last month if the Attorney General’s office refuses to publicly disclose the report’s findings.
“The decision to have the protester removed was made solely by the State Police, who operate under the command of the Attorney General’s Office and the Murphy Administration,” said Richard McGrath, a spokesman for the Senate Democrats. “They were both quick to comment on the incident, but they are refusing to be fully truthful by making public the review of the actions by the officers.”
State Troopers dragged Altman out of a Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth Strategies meeting before Democratic powerbroker George Norcross began his testimony.
“No one with the Senate wanted any member of the public to be denied the opportunity to remain in the room for the hearing,” McGrath said in a statement released this morning. “Any unsubstantiated rumors or manufactured conspiracy theories by the Murphy paid protester or other allies of the administration are nothing more than irresponsible attempts to exploit the incident for self-serving political purposes.
There has been speculation that Altman was specifically targeted for removal.
The New Jersey Globe first reported that the Attorney General’s office would discuss the incident with the committee chairman, State Sen. Robert Smith (D-Piscataway), as well as probe the event internally.
“As with any allegation involving the conduct of State Troopers, the New Jersey State Police will review the matter,” a spokesperson for Attorney General Gurbir Grewal told the Globe on November 18.
POLITICO New Jersey reported the results of the probe would not be released to the public.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg called on Grewal to publicly release the results of their review.
McGrath accused Gov. Phil Murphy of pushing a narrative of retaliation against Altman.
“We should not allow the continuing attempts to inflame controversy to distract attention from the Legislature’s policy goals, which cover an array of issues that have an impact on the lives of the people of New Jersey, including important social justice reforms,” McGrath said. “The Governor and his allies would be better served at making actual progress on a policy agenda if they put their focus on the issues of concern to the residents of New Jersey.”