Probe into handling of assault claim faults hiring of accused

An investigative report commissioned by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy into the handling of sexual assault allegations in his administration faults the incoming governor's team for the quick hiring of the accused despite the claim against him.

The report came out Wednesday, more than three months after Katie Brennan's allegations against Albert Alvarez came to light in a newspaper article.

Brennan is chief of staff of the state's housing finance agency. She says Alvarez assaulted her in 2017 while they worked to get Murphy elected.

Alvarez served as chief of staff at the Schools Development Authority until October, when the allegations emerged. He denies the claims. Prosecutors declined to bring charges.

The report says Murphy's transition learned of the allegations in December, but Alvarez's hiring proceeded in a "seamless progression."