Trenton, NJ – A million dollar settlement between Katie Brennan, the Murphy Administration and the Governor’s campaign raised eyebrows on Friday. Taxpers are on the hook for $820,000… the state’s portion of the settlement in addition to a $20,000 mediator’s fee.
The New Jersey Republican Party wants an investigation.
On Monday, the NJGOP asked the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to, in their words, “investigate: 1). the State’s $800,000 allocation of the settlement as an illegal campaign contribution to the Murphy for Governor Campaign; and 2). the $200,000 payment by the Campaign’s insurer and whether the payment is a qualifying expenditure against the Governor’s 2021 campaign spending cap.”
Both arguments are legal theories which the NJGOP apparently plans to test.
“Governor Murphy uses taxpayer dollars to bail him out of all kinds of financial mismanagement, but he can’t skirt campaign finance laws, and it is illegal for him to use the State as his personal piggy bank to pay for his campaign committee’s scandals,” said NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt. “I am happy that Katie Brennan is receiving some of the justice she deserves, but with more than 1.1 million New Jerseyans unemployed and billions of dollars in anticipated revenue shortfall, taxpayers have no business paying for the bad judgment and illegal behavior of the Murphy for Governor campaign committee and its employees.”
Brennan accused Murphy campaign volunteer and later administration member Al Alvarez of sexual assault; two separate county prosecutor’s offices declined to charge Alvarez, but the state’s handling of the matter led to a months-long controversy and a formal legislative inquiry.
2021 GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli also scrutinized Murphy’s handling of the Brennan matter, citing the ‘Animal House’ atmosphere cultivated by the administration; Steinhardt and Ciattarelli are expected to face-off next year for the Republican nomination to challenge Murphy.
.@GovMurphy settled a $1M lawsuit over his admin’s handling of a sexual assault allegation involving campaign officials, paid for by taxpayers. Governor, you spent millions of your own $ to get elected. Take responsibility & pay out of your campaign treasury or your own pocket. pic.twitter.com/tWfJ3lcJkr
— Jack M. Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) May 16, 2020