Ex-state official accused of rape says he can't say who hired him

Posted: Updated:

A former New Jersey government official who says he was falsely accused of sexual assault by another state worker says he cannot say who hired him.

Albert Alvarez was chief of staff at the state Schools Development Authority.

“I can’t tell you that I know specifically who said, ‘You’re hired.’ I can tell you, honestly, that I know that I expressed my interest there and no one objected to me going there,” Alvarez told a state committee investigating his hiring.

Alvarez resigned from the authority in October when a newspaper published an account of Katie Brennan's sexual assault allegations against him. Brennan says that Alvarez assaulted her while they were working on Gov. Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign. Brennan was a volunteer at the time.

RELATED: Judge orders prosecutor to turn over files in Alvarez case 
RELATED: Report: Former Murphy staffer accused of rape to testify before committee 

Alvarez denies the charges. Two country prosecutors have also declined to file charges.

The panel was established last year to probe the Murphy administration's hiring practices. The panel found no one could say who hired Alvarez. Alvarez added to the mystery. He says he couldn't say specifically who hired him.

Alvarez also stated that top Murphy administration officials, including recently departed Chief of Staff Pete Cammarano, did not block him from a six-figure job at the Schools Development Authority even after Cammarano knew Alvarez was accused of rape. Alvarez said that the governor remained in the dark.

“I was never under the impression the governor was aware of the allegations, at no time did I have any conversations with him about this,” Alvarez said.

Brennan, who testified before the committee in December, has filed a lawsuit against Alvarez, the state and the Murphy campaign.

Legislators say that they are not ready to say whether their investigation is complete but say that the committee will soon make a decision on whether they will call more witnesses.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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