Senate President Steve Sweeney on Tuesday announced the creation of a special committee to investigate the hiring of former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez, who resigned after an inquiry about sexual assault allegations made by Katie Brennan, who is chief of staff at the state’s housing agency.
“We expect the full cooperation of the administration so that we can obtain a full accounting and take the necessary actions to prevent these abuses from happening again,” Sweeney said.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, who was the first Senate Democrat to call for such an investigation will sit on the six-member committee, as will Sens. Teresa Ruiz, Sandra Cunningham, Fred Madden, Steve Oroho and Kristin Corrado.
It’s not yet clear if the Assembly will launch a similar investigation. Republicans in the lower chamber have made calls for such a probe, but Democrats have largely been silent on the matter thus far.
“The account of the assault on Ms. Brennan was heart wrenching and repulsive,” said Sweeney. “And the repeated failures of authorities to hear her voice and respond to her attempts to achieve justice made me frustrated and angry. We need a full accounting of what went wrong and what needs to be done so that sexual survivors are heard, that they are treated with respect and compassion, and that they can trust the system to provide justice.”