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Former Assemblyman John Wisniewski

Wisniewski: Select Committee will learn who hired Alvarez

By Nikita Biryukov, February 04 2019 7:09 pm

Former Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who co-chaired the committee that investigated Bridgegate, said he believes the Legislative Select Oversight Committee investigating Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration’s hiring of Al Alvarez will eventually find the one responsible for giving the latter his role at the Schools Development Authority.

“There is somebody out there who hired Al Alvarez, and my assumption is that, if they call the right people, they will eventually find out who did,” Wisniewski said. “So far the people that they’ve asked, clearly none of them have admitted to it. The people they’ve asked have said no. My guess is that it wasn’t done in a fashion it is normally done.”

So far, numerous high-level individuals involved in Murphy’s transition and administration, including former chief of staff Pete Cammarano, chief counsel Matt Platkin, transition chief Jose Lozano and transition counsel Raj Parikh, have testified they did not hire Alvarez and do not know who did.

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 the campaign, for which he would later volunteer.

But, Wisniewski said, it might not matter all that much who hired Al Alvarez.

“What difference does it make?” Wisniewski said. “On a certain level, what difference does it make who made the decision? It’s a question of after the decision was made, what was done with the information? The person who made the decision could have conceivably known or not known.”

“The person, John or Jane Doe, made the decision. Well, without knowing how much information they were given, it would be interesting, but perhaps not particularly helpful, to know who did it without knowing exactly what they were told and when they were told,” he said.

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