The Hudson County Young Democrats have come out in full support of their member Katie Brennan, who has alleged she was raped by Albert Alvarez during last year’s campaign, exclaiming “we are proud of Katie’s bravery and courage to fight against injustice.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Katie is a strong leader in Hudson County and across the State of New Jersey, driving meaningful change and progress in public service, policy, and many other areas. We are proud of Katie’s bravery and courage to fight against injustice, even when she is the victim and that fight comes at great cost to her privacy and disruption to her life,” the group’s executive board said in a joint statement.
“We hope the State of New Jersey and the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office not only thoroughly investigate this matter and hold Katie’s attacker accountable but that they also take all possible steps to prevent future attacks and improve the criminal justice system to better serve all sexual assault survivors.”
Brennan has alleged that Alvarez, who served as the chief of staff the New Jersey Schools Development Authority until earlier this month, raped her after a campaign event for Murphy back in April.
At the time, she was a volunteer for the campaign and Alvarez was a top strategist.
The HCYD are following the lead of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, with Chair Amy DeGise saying yesterday that now is the time to “better serve sexual assault survivors seeking justice.”
Murphy has since admitted Alvarez should not have been hired and has launched an independent investigation into the matter, with state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) announcing that the upper house will create a committee to investigate Alvarez’s hiring.
While Brennan told The Wall Street Journal that she contacted authorities and took a rape kit test the day after the alleged incident occurred, April 9th, 2017, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office did not charge Alvarez.
However, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced yesterday that the case would be reopened and reviewed by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Through a spokeswoman, he confirmed that Prosecutor Esther Suarez had personal relationships with both Brennan and Alvarez and that she called for the Division of Criminal Justice to review the case – even though she did not play a role in the initial investigation.
The HCYD executive board has nine members and includes Brian Platt, the Jersey City business administrator, as president, Mike Makarski, who heads external affairs for the Engineers Labor-Employer Cooperative, as vice president, former West New York Board of Education Trustee Steven Rodas as treasurer and Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Mussab Ali as secretary.