The Lance for Congress campaign called on lifelong progressive Democrat Tom Malinowski to back an independent investigation into the Murphy administration's handling of sexual assault allegations against former senior staffer Albert Alvarez.
On Sunday, Malinowski issued a statement on the allegations saying, "I believe the Governor is taking this situation very seriously and expect he will take the appropriate next steps." Malinowski takes issue with how prosecutors, police and first responders handled the charges against Mr. Alvarez but only called for 'policy changes' moving forward.
According to numerous press reports Gov. Phil Murphy and various senior officials in the Murphy administration were made aware earlier this year of a "sensitive matter" concerning top aide Alvarez who was being investigated for alleged sexual assault but stayed on the job until abruptly resigning two weeks ago.
Ms. Katie Brennan -- a former Murphy campaign volunteer and current administration official -- spent more than a year seeking action against Albert Alvarez for an alleged April 2017 sexual assault before directly emailing Phil Murphy in June 2018. Gov. Murphy responded within the hour, according to news reports: "Hang in," he wrote. "We are on it."
But Alvarez remained in his $140,000-a-year position until October 2 of this year -- the same day that the Wall Street Journal broke the story.
"Tom Malinowski's weak statement fails to lay blame where it belongs -- on the desk of Gov. Murphy and his senior staff," said Lance for Congress campaign manager Jim Hilk. "While Gov. Murphy prepares to leave New Jersey for a trip to his home away from home in Germany, Tom Malinowski 'believes' and 'expects' his administration 'will take the appropriate next steps.' The only appropriate next steps are those that include a full and independent investigation into the failures at the very top of the Murphy administration to address Ms. Brennan's serious and credible charges properly."