State employee Katie Brennan sues NJ, alleged attacker over rape claims

Posted: Updated:

A New Jersey employee who says Gov. Phil Murphy's administration botched its response to allegations that a campaign staffer sexually assaulted her is suing the alleged attacker and the state.

Katie Brennan filed the lawsuit Monday in Mercer County Superior Court. In a statement, Brennan said she is pursuing the lawsuit because she cannot get justice any other way.

The case goes back to October when Brennan, who is chief of staff of the state's housing finance agency, alleged that Albert Alvarez sexually assaulted her in 2017 when they both were working to get Murphy elected. Alvarez denied the allegations, and the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office declined to pursue charges against him.

Alvarez was hired by the state but resigned last October when the allegations became public.

RELATED: State employee files notice of intent to sue over rape claims 
RELATED: Murphy official accused of rape told to find new job, but wasn’t fired 

An investigative committee in the state Legislature is investigating his hiring and others by the Murphy administration with public hearings that resume Tuesday.

Following the last meeting on Dec. 18, the panel's co-chair said there were still unanswered questions about why Alvarez held a six-figure state job for nearly a year.

“Obviously there are a lot of gaps that took place there that nobody followed up on and those are things that we will address,” says state Sen. Loretta Weinberg.

RELATED: Ex-Murphy staffer accused of rape declines to testify at committee hearing 
RELATED: State committee hears assault claims against former Murphy staffer 

Gov. Murphy will not testify at Tuesday’s hearing, but the committee says that it has not ruled out calling on him in the future.

Brennan’s lawsuit seeks to scrap a state policy requiring victim confidentiality. She says it fails victims.

The state attorney general declined comment. Alvarez's attorney did not return a message.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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