NJ Senate sets up panel to probe handling of assault charge

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey lawmakers say they're establishing a bipartisan committee to investigate Gov. Phil Murphy administration's handling of a sexual assault allegation within state government.

Democratic Senate President Steve Sweeney said Tuesday the six-person committee would examine hiring practices, background checks and "systematic problems."

The news comes a day after Murphy ordered an investigation into how his administration handled the allegations against Albert Alvarez.

Alvarez resigned his post as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority earlier this month as the Wall Street Journal began asking questions about his alleged involvement in a sexual assault.

Katie Brennan, the chief of staff at the state's housing agency, told the newspaper Alvarez sexually assaulted her in April 2017.

She said she pursued charges and recourse within the administration without success.