Report: Alvarez sues Brennan over sexual assault allegations she made

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The man at the center of the Murphy administration rape scandal is now saying his accuser defamed him by going public with her allegations, according to a report by NJ Advance Media.

Al Alvarez maintains he did not sexually assault Katie Brennan, a Murphy campaign volunteer who is now chief of staff at the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

In a court filing released Thursday, Alvarez called the accusations malicious prosecution, defamation, slander and libel. He says that he was forced to resign from his high-paying job as the chief of staff to the Schools Development Authority in October 2018 because Brennan was going public with her charges.

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Brennan accused Alvarez of raping her while both were working on Gov. Phil Murphy's campaign in April 2017. But two separate investigations by prosecutors in Hudson and Middlesex counties failed to result in any criminal charges against Alvarez.

NJ Advance Media reports that in the filing Alvarez said what happened between him and Brennan was consensual. Alvarez says he was defamed by "false and public assertions" of rape and sexual assault. He is asking for emotional distress damages, lost wages and damages for harm against his reputation.

Brennan has continued to try and get high-ranking members of the Murphy administration to listen to her claims. A joint legislative committee found no evidence that the governor knew of the allegations until they were about to be made public.

Brennan sued Alvarez in January. Alvarez's court filing Thursday was a much-delayed response to Brennan's lawsuit.

During a series of hearings in late 2018 and early 2019, state officials struggled to explain who exactly hired Alvarez.

His unusual hiring arrangement drew attention to the Schools Development Authority, resulting in another scandal. The Schools Development Authority CEO, Lizette Delgado-Polanco, was forced to resign this past April after it was revealed she hired friends, family and cronies. Thirty of those people were fired from the authority two weeks ago.

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