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The Latest: Gov: Probe of assault claim shows ‘hard truths’

February 6, 2019

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Latest on an investigative probe into New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of sexual assault allegations in his administration (all times local):

2 p.m.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says a probe he ordered into how his administration dealt with sexual assault allegations revealed “hard truths” and that he agrees with the “corrective actions” it recommends.

The first-term Democrat responded to former Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero’s report on Wednesday.

Murphy also says that he wishes his staff had told him earlier about the allegations made by Katie Brennan against Albert Alvarez. Murphy says he didn’t learn about them until October when a Wall Street Journal report on the allegations was about to come out.

Brennan is chief of staff of the state’s housing finance agency. She says Alvarez assaulted her in 2017 while they worked to get Murphy elected.

Alvarez served as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority until October, when the allegations emerged. He denies the claims.

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11:09 a.m.

An investigative report commissioned by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy into the handling of sexual assault allegations in his administration faults the incoming governor’s team for the quick hiring of the accused despite the claim against him.

The report came out Wednesday, more than three months after Katie Brennan’s allegations against Albert Alvarez came to light in a newspaper article.

Brennan is chief of staff of the state’s housing finance agency. She says Alvarez assaulted her in 2017 while they worked to get Murphy elected.

Alvarez served as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority until October, when the allegations emerged. He denies the claims. Prosecutors declined to bring charges.

The report says Murphy’s transition learned of the allegations in December, but Alvarez’s hiring proceeded in a “seamless progression.”

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