Senators voice “serious concerns” about Murphy’s pick for N.J. attorney general

Phil Murphy’s Thursday announcement nominating ex-chief counsel Matt Platkin as New Jersey attorney general is drawing rave reviews from the Left but deep concern from those hoping to hold the Murphy Administration accountable for its actions past, present and future.

“We have extremely serious concerns about Matt’s handling of Katie Brennan’s allegations of sexual assault and the guidance he provided Governor Murphy as chief counsel on the use of emergency powers during the pandemic,” said Senator Steven Oroho (R-24), the GOP’s Senate minority leader. “Matt is obviously a very smart guy, but he shouldn’t expect a free pass to avoid the scrutiny a nominee for Attorney General deserves.”

Platkin told a legislative oversight committee back in January 2019 that he didn’t know who hired Al Alvarez, the former Schools Development Authority chief of staff at the center of the Katie Brenna scandal, and he was “cagey” in his responses concerning how it might have happened.

Brennan (who ultimately reached a one million dollar settlement with the state) voiced her opposition to Platkin’s nomination:

Concerns about Platkin’s credentials represent a further point of likely scrutiny in the weeks ahead.

“To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Platkin has never worked in law enforcement in any capacity and doesn’t have any experience in criminal justice or as a prosecutor,” said Senator Mike Doherty (R-23), the GOP’s ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I’m not sure being a close associate of Governor Murphy is enough to qualify him to lead the largest and most important law enforcement department in New Jersey. We’re looking forward to having that discussion with him.”

Another issue: Platkin’s role in New Jersey’s disastrous pandemic lockdown policies and Governor Murphy’s ongoing exercise of “emergency powers.”

“I’m concerned that Matt Platkin was the counsel who advised Governor Murphy to govern by executive order and overbearing mandates for the past two years,” said Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) in her own statement. “On emergency powers, we need someone who shares the views of New Jerseyans that it’s time for Governor Murphy to give it back.”

The AG vacancy was created when Gurbir Grewal, Phil Murphy’s chief Covid-19 henchman and architect of sanctuary statehood, was appointed to the SEC in June by Joe Biden. New Jersey has had an interim attorney general ever since.

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