Taxpayer costs stemming from assault allegation reach $1.6 million

Taxpayers in New Jersey will foot a roughly $1.6 million bill from legal costs in the Murphy administration's and lawmakers' probes into the hiring of an ex-official who was accused of sexual assault.
Prosecutors did not charge former Schools Development Authority official Albert Alvarez after Katie Brennan accused him of sexually assaulting her back in 2017 while they worked to elect Gov. Phil Murphy.
But her account published last year in a newspaper sparked Murphy's and legislators' probes.
Alvarez has denied any wrongdoing.
Invoices from the state attorney general's office obtained by The Associated Press show the law firms Murphy hired have billed the state about $1.2 million.
Lawmakers also empaneled an oversight committee to investigate the administration's hiring practices after Brennan came forward.
Their attorneys have billed about $400,000.
AP wire services helped contribute to this report.