In response to numerous concerns that have been raised regarding current and former employees of the Murphy Administration, Senator Kristin Corrado has introduced a resolution to constitute a special legislative committee to conduct a broad investigation into the hiring practices of Governor Phil Murphy.
Sen. Kristin Corrado has introduced a resolution to constitute a special legislative committee to conduct a broad investigation into the hiring practices of Gov. Phil Murphy. (SenateNJ.com)
Click here to view a PDF of the resolution.
“The floodgates have opened with numerous reports of questionable hires by the Murphy Administration, including a corrupt official convicted on federal bribery charges, one with multiple allegations of sexual assault, and another who was involved in a major campaign finance scandal,” said Corrado. “We must investigate why the governor thought it was appropriate to hire these individuals into positions of public trust. We must examine the safeguards that exist in the hiring process, and learn how they failed or were sidestepped to allow Governor Murphy to reward his campaign workers with highly paid positions at taxpayer expense.”
Corrado highlighted several hires of the administration that raise substantial concern:
- Marcellus Jackson, a former Passaic City councilman convicted of federal corruption charges for accepting bribes in an FBI sting operation, was hired as a $70,000 special assistant in the Department of Education. Prior to his hire, Jackson worked on Governor Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign. His employment in government was prohibited by State law due to his prior conviction.
- Albert J. Alvarez, another former Murphy campaign employee, was accused of sexual assault by a female colleague, Ms. Katie Brennan, while working on the campaign. The allegations were investigated by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. Despite Brennan informing the governor’s transition team of concerns, Alvarez was hired into a $140,000 post as chief of staff in the Schools Development Authority. This spring, Brennan again tried to inform the governor’s senior staff, and Governor Murphy directly, of the allegations, to no avail. Alvarez resigned two weeks ago when it was clear that Brennan’s allegations would soon be published. Since then, a second woman has come forward claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Alvarez.
- Derrick Green is reported to have been paid $2 million by the Murphy campaign for consulting work. He previously was under investigation for his role in a major campaign finance scandal in Bermuda. Green was hired into a $140,000 position in the Secretary of State’s office. Employees of that office do not report knowing Green or ever seeing him in the office, leading to questions about the validity of his taxpayer funded position.
Under mounting pressure, Governor Murphy announced an investigation yesterday to examine the hiring of Alvarez and the handling of Brennan’s allegations, along with the hiring practices of his transition team that was responsible for staffing his incoming administration last fall. It does not appear that this investigation will look into the administration’s employment practices since the Governor took office.
Several other legislators have called for different investigations, including one that would focus primarily on the employment of Alvarez, and another that would look into the state’s handling of allegations of sexual assault, both with regards to government employees and the criminal justice system in general.
Corrado said her resolution, SCR-147, is the only proposal that is broad enough in scope to address all of the existing concerns effectively.
“It seems unlikely that the limited investigations proposed by others will be sufficient to answer the broader questions that have been raised about the employment practices of this administration, both before and since Governor Murphy assumed office,” added Corrado. “There appear to be systemic failures in the Governor’s staffing practices that extend far beyond Alvarez. We must cast a wide net to determine if there were other improper hires that remain employed at taxpayer expense, and to ensure that we have effective safeguards to prevent future abuses going forward.”
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