Panel Will Direct Probe into Handling Allegations of Sexual Assault & Actions in Response to Sexual Misconduct
(TRENTON)- The General Assembly Leadership announced today that members of the Assembly will join the Senate to investigate how sexual assault and misconduct allegations against Albert J. Alvarez were handled prior to, and after his hiring as a high-level state employee, and oversee an analysis of the criminal justice system’s approach to addressing accusations of sexual harassment, assault and abuse.
The bipartisan Select Committee will be tasked with determining reforms necessary to hold abusers accountable throughout the hiring process, and to make recommendations to improve related hiring practices. The panel will also review systemic issues within current policies to ensure victims have the confidence that they will be heard and that the justice they deserve will always be attainable.
“Ms. Brennan was remarkably brave to come forward with her heartbreaking account of the assault she endured. Her description was painful to read, as it detailed the abhorrent behavior to which she was subjected,” said Speaker Coughlin. “Ms. Brennan deserved to be heard, respected and believed. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I will not allow future victims to be subjected to the same unacceptable response. This committee will determine why the current system failed Ms. Brennan and what reforms must be enacted.”
Speaker Coughlin said Assembly committee members will be named in the very near future.
“Members of the panel will be committed to thoroughly examining the issues that have come to light in recent news accounts regarding sexual misconduct, and will ensure a hearing process that is fair and transparent,” Coughlin pledged.