New Jersey legislature votes to investigate after Gov. Murphy hired staffer despite rape claim


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Each homes of New Jersey’s state legislature on Monday voted to start a particular fee to look into why a marketing campaign aide to Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy scored a plum job in his administration regardless of an accusation he raped a lady in an condominium final yr.

The weird transfer by the Democrat-held authorities underscored the rising stress on Democrats to carry their very own answerable for cases of purported sexual misconduct. The measure handed unanimously in each homes of the state authorities, with three Democrats opting to not vote within the Senate and one abstention within the state Meeting.

Republicans repeatedly have argued that whilst Democrats grilled Affiliate Supreme Court docket Justice Brett Kavanaugh on uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault, they turned a blind eye to high-level Democratic Nationwide Committee (DNC) members resembling Rep. Keith Ellison, who has largely secured his occasion’s unwavering backing regardless of being accused of home violence.

There are indications that the GOP’s arguments are having an impression. Current polls point out a useless warmth in Ellison’s race towards Doug Wardlow, his Republican opponent, in response to the New York Instances. The ballot additionally discovered that 40 % of surveyed voters mentioned the home abuse allegations “are an element” in whether or not to vote for the Democrat.

And, North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has taken bruising criticism from all sides after naming victims of home violence and sexual abuse in an assault advert geared toward her Republican challenger — this, after a few of the girls mentioned they didn’t give permission for the marketing campaign to call them, and others mentioned they’d by no means skilled abuse.


New Jersey officers seem decided to keep away from the same fiasco. Albert J. Alvarez served as chief of workers to the Faculties Improvement Authority there, however he resigned earlier this month after reviews emerged that he allegedly raped Katie Brennan, who at the moment works because the chief of workers to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Company. Alvarez has denied the allegations.

“You have a look at this girl’s story, and it makes you sick.”

— New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy

Brennan, who has gone public together with her claims, mentioned she knowledgeable Murphy staffers about her accusations towards Alvarez, however the workforce took no obvious motion.

“You have a look at this girl’s story, and it makes you sick — the dearth of the construction in our society, the dearth of respect for survivors,” Murphy mentioned at a information convention Monday. “So, my targets are to determine what occurred, let’s get our authorities insurance policies the perfect they are often, let’s make New Jersey broadly … a society that folks look as much as and say, ‘They respect survivors not like anyone else.’ Let’s hold politics out of it.”


Whereas the governor introduced that he would launch his personal impartial investigation, the brand new investigation guarantees a bigger scope — encompassing not solely the accusations towards the Murphy staffer and his administration’s dealing with of the matter, but in addition broader points regarding how sexual misconduct allegations are addressed within the state’s felony justice system.

Murphy’s workplace has mentioned Alvarez cleared a felony background test, in response to native reviews, though the evaluation was restricted to arrests or convictions.

“I respect the processes that we put in place,” Murphy mentioned, referring to his personal impartial evaluation.

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