Phil Murphy campaign volunteer settles for $1M over rape allegation against staffer

A New Jersey official reached a $1 million settlement with the state and Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign over claims that her rape allegations against another campaign staffer were mishandled, according to a report.

Katie Brennan’s January 2019 lawsuit claimed that her assault allegations against Murphy’s campaign advisor Albert Alvarez, which she made volunteering on the governors run for office, weren’t properly investigated.

Brennan settled the case, her lawyers announced Friday, and was awarded $1 million from the state and Murphy for Governor Inc. — $600,000 of which will go to her and $400,000 of which will go to her lawyers, according to an NJ.com report.

Brennan plans to give her portion of the money to a non-profit organization that will use it to help low-income sexual assault victims get legal services and other assistance, the outlet reported.

Alvarez will undergo an anti-sexual harassment class and he and Brennan will have a facilitated meeting within 6 months as part of the settlement, the report said.

Brennan — who has since advocated for sexual assault victims — said “Living in silence did not serve me or any other survivors in this state. Speaking out gave me great strength,” the outlet reported.

The state has also agreed to change its policy to allow victims of sexual assault and harassment to be accompanied by a support person during interviews with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — which is just one of many changes that Brennan has been calling for, the outlet reported.

The state will also help Brennan — who is now the chief of staff of the state’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency —offer her proposal for reforms to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Council, according to the outlet.

“From legislation and the release from NDAs, to greater awareness of harassment and assault, we’ve made great progress,” said Brennan, the outlet reported. “Each reform sets us on a path toward justice. Each reform makes it worth the pain.”

Brennan claimed that Alvarez raped her in her Jersey City apartment in April 2017 after the pair left a gathering with other campaign staffers.

in 2017, Brennan made complaints to high-ranking officials in the Murphy administration, including Murphy and his wife Tammy, about the attack.

But she didn’t go public with the explosive allegations until 2018 prompting state senate hearings into how the campaign handled her claims.

The Legislative Select Oversight Committee eventually released a report finding that the campaign was more concerned with “avoiding negative publicity” than taking proper steps to investigate.

Alvarez — who maintained his innocence and was never charged —resigned in 2018 from his position as chief-of-staff at the Schools Development Authority following the scandal.

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