Katie Brennan testifies before the Legislative Select Oversight Committee on Dec. 4, 2018. Chris Pedota, NorthJersey
Charles Stile reports for NorthJersey.com:
Lawmakers investigating why a Murphy administration official was able to hang on to a plum job despite a rape allegation have been unable to answer this basic question: Who hired Al Alvarez for the $140,000-a-year job in the first place?
Murphy's former chief of staff Peter Cammarano testified that he didn't know who offered Alvarez the job as chief of staff at the School Development Authority. Neither did the executive director of Gov. Phil Murphy's transition, Jose Lozano. Alvarez's old boss at the SDA, Charlie McKenna had no answer.
And Matthew Platkin, Murphy's chief counsel, who is one of Murphy's most trusted advisers and finds himself at the nerve center of the scandal, offered more of the same Friday.
Gov. Phil Murphy's chief counsel, Matt Platkin, before testifying Friday, Jan. 18, 2019 (Photo: Dustin Racioppi/NorthJersey.com)
"I am not personally aware of who hired Al Alvarez,'' Platkin told lawmakers.
At one point, Assemblywoman Elinor Pintor Marin, D-Essex, asked if Murphy offered Alvarez the job.
"The governor is not typically involved in the hiring process for authorities,'' Platkin said.
Who hired Alvarez, a campaign aide who oversaw outreach to Latino and Muslim voters, has become, what Senate Majority leader Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, is calling the "sixty-four thousand dollar question."
The scandal that has sidelined the Murphy administration and threatens to tarnish its progressive, pro-woman brand is fraught with vexing questions that perhaps the person who offered Alvarez the job is best positioned to answer.
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