Former Schools Development Authority chief of staff Al Alvarez testified Tuesday that, while he was unsure who was responsible for hiring him, if hiring authority was at the root of the question, Gov. Phil Murphy’s former chief of staff Pete Cammarano would be the one responsible.
The Select Committee on Oversight’s leadership didn’t think the situation was so clear cut.
“We think that there was probably an informal process where it sounded like it had something to do with the fact that the governor knew him,” Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg said. “He worked in the campaign. He worked in the transition, and it’s not shocking to any of us here — nor would I guess to anyone out there — that that’s somebody who is trusted and would be getting a job in the new administration someplace between triumvirate of Lozano, Platkin and Cammarano.”
Jose Lozano, who was executive director of Gov. Phil Murphy’s transition, was the one who connected Alvarez and former SDA CEO Charles McKenna, but Alvarez testified that Lozano cleared many decisions with Cammarano and Matt Platkin, who is now Gov. Phil Murphy’s chief counsel.
Cammarano and Platkin, Alvarez said, were the ultimate decision makers.
Though Platkin was charged with hiring for the state’s authorities, Alvarez said the two did not discuss his desire to work at the SDA and could not say whether Platkin was involved in his hiring.
On Cammarano, Alvarez was a bit more forceful.
“My understanding is he was a decision maker in pretty much everyone’s hiring, including my own,” Alvarez said, though he stopped short of saying Cammarano was the one that hired him for the job at the SDA.