FRIDAY DUMP: State of N.J. settles with Katie Brennan; taxpayers will shell out $820k

FRIDAY DUMP: State of N.J. settles with Katie Brennan; taxpayers will shell out $820k

TRENTON, N.J. – The State of New Jersey and Katie Brennan are settled.

Brennan, who accused a politically-connected volunter for the Murphy political campaign and later an administration official of sexual assault, subsequently sued the accused (Albert Alvarez) as well as the state itself. Today’s announced settlement eliminates the need for a trial and formally ends the story-in-chief of the Murphy Administration’s first major scandal.

“Speaking out gave me strength. My position allowed me to advocate on behalf of myself and other survivors. This $600,000.00 fund will allow low-income survivors in Hudson County to seek justice, who may not otherwise be able,” said Katie Brennan in a release distributed by the Governor’s office. “We have made great progress through awareness, legislation, and the reforms in this agreement. This is just the beginning. Victims, perpetrators, all of us – we are all accountable for ending sexual violence. There cannot be any bystanders.”  

Some key terms disclosed by the Administration:

  • The New Jersey Division of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action “will now allow an alleged victim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation to be accompanied by an advisor or support person during an interview by an EEO/AA investigator.”
  • Brennan will give a presentation to the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Council regarding additional proposed reforms
  • Alvarez and Brennan will participate in a “Restorative Justice” process (typically, the victim and the accused meet – with advocates present – to work out a resolution).
  • Alvarez will attend an “anti-sexual harassment” class.
  • $600,000 will be paid to a charity of Brennan’s choosing.
  • Brennan’s attorneys will get $400,000 for legal fees.
  • New Jersey will pay $800,000 towards the settlement and Murphy for Governor, Inc.’s insurer will kick in another $200,000.
  • New Jersey will pay an additional $20,000 for the civil mediator.

The $820,000 taxpayer-financed bill doesn’t include attorney hours which have accumulated to date to defend against Brennan’s suit.