N.J. Governor’s Inner Circle Knew of Sexual Assault Complaint Against Aide (NYTimes)
TRENTON — Members of Gov. Philip D. Murphy’s inner circle testified on Tuesday that they knew for months about accusations of sexual assault against a top administration official, but did not take steps to force the man’s removal.
It was the first time that high-ranking members of the administration, including Pete Cammarano, the governor’s chief of staff, were called to testify under oath in front of a panel as part of an investigation into the incident, which has cast a pall over Mr. Murphy’s first year in office and threatens to impede his progressive agenda.
The hearing comes two weeks after Katie Brennan, in her first public comments since her allegations were made public in October, described in wrenching testimony in a separate hearing her allegations against Albert J. Alvarez, who she accused of sexually assaulting her following a campaign event last year. Ms. Brennan told the panel that administration officials ignored her requests for action and continued to employ Mr. Alvarez for nearly nine months after her allegations were first reported to several of Mr. Murphy’s senior aides.
In his testimony on Tuesday, Mr. Cammarano said he told Mr. Alvarez “that he needed to leave state government” during a private meeting in his office on March 26. He called the meeting after learning that Ms. Brennan took her allegations directly to Mr. Murphy’s chief counsel, Matthew Platkin. The meeting had not been previously disclosed....