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Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. (Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Weinberg: Too early to say if committee should investigate Alvarez transition actions

By Nikita Biryukov, October 19 2018 3:44 pm

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg on Friday said it was to early to tell whether hires made or denied by Albert Alvarez while he was deputy director of personnel for Gov. Phil Murphy’s transition team should be investigated by the legislature’s select committee.

“We haven’t been formally created. I don’t who my counterparts will be in the Assembly,” Weinberg said. “So I need to sit down with whoever the co-chair is going to be, with our committee and with our leadership to really spell out what think our parameters should be, so I’m not prepared to give you an answer to that.”

Alvarez resigned from his role as chief of staff of the Schools Development Authority earlier this month when he was contacted by the Wall Street Journal for comment about a story on sexual assault allegations made against him by Katie Brennan, chief of staff at the state’s housing agency.

Two Senators that will appear on the select committee, Sen. Steve Oroho and Sen. Teresa Ruiz, told the New Jersey Globe yesterday that the matter could come up after the committee is officially created at the end of the month.

Such a review could trigger new vetting of Murphy’s appointees.

Many questions about the scope and authority of the legislature’s investigation into Alvarez’s Hiring remain, and are unlikely to be answered until Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announces his chamber’s representation on the panel.

The New Jersey Globe learned Friday that Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin will chair co-chair the select committee, but it’s not clear which other members will represent the legislature’s lower chamber.

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