State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) on Thursday said Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration isn’t well-served by the mystery swirling around the identity of the person who hired former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez.
“This ridiculous circling of the wagons only serves to make the administration look foolish or in chaos. Neither one of those two things is good, so the mission has failed if it had any other direction,” O’Scanlon said, adding later: “It’s an unnecessarily tortured question that doesn’t make anybody look good.”
Both the legislative Select Committee on Oversight and an investigation headed by former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero have been unable to find out who hired Alvarez.
The mystery has been a source of growing frustration for the committee’s members as its self-imposed end-of-February deadline approaches and the committee is left with a growing number of questions about the circumstances of Alvarez’s hiring.
Some of the committee’s members have begun to seriously entertain the idea that Alvarez somehow hired himself.
“If no one hired him, someone needs to talk about how did that happen and who the hell else was hired without anybody knowing about it,” O’Scanlon said.
State Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency chief of staff Katie Brennan has accused Alvarez of sexually assaulting her in April 2017, when he was in charge of Muslim and Latino outreach for Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign, for which Brennan would later volunteer.