Murphy administration staffer files lawsuit in Superior Court over rape allegations

Steve Tawa
January 07, 2019 - 5:10 pm
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy

Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com via USA Today Network

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NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — A staffer in New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy's administration, who previously alleged that she was raped by another former top aide to the governor in 2017, has filed a lawsuit in Superior Court. Meanwhile, a hearing resumes Tuesday before a legislative committee on the state's handling of Brennan's complaint.

Katie Brennan, chief of staff to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, accuses Albert Alvarez of raping her in her home in April, 2017, after both attended a gathering supporting the Murphy campaign for governor. 

RELATED: Murphy wants answers on how state worker's story of rape was ignored until she went to newspaper

The lawsuit contends for more than a year, she told key members of Murphy's inner circle about the incident, and during the transition and then work when Murphy assumed office, she "lived under constant threat of seeing and interacting" with her alleged rapist.

Brennan alleges the Murphy campaign "was deliberately indifferent, reckless, and negligent" for hiring Alvarez and failing to investigate her claims.

Alvarez has denied the allegation. He resigned from the New Jersey Schools Development Authority last October, when the Wall Street Journal contacted him for comment.

Her civil lawsuit against the state, the Murphy campaign and her accused rapist seeks compensatory, consequential and punitive damages.  

Brennan is seeking to change New Jersey’s policies and practices concerning the conduct of confidential workplace investigations. The suit also asks for "corrective action," including "anti-discrimination, anti-retaliation, anti-harassment, and workplace civility training."