Katie Brennan responds to Verniero report


TRENTON (February 6, 2019)–Following is a statement from Katie Brennan in response to the findings of Peter Verniero’s inquiry into the vetting and hiring processes of the Murphy administration’s transition office:

“It’s clear from the report that there was a lack of accountability and effective policies and procedures to address a glaring personnel problem in the Transition. I appreciate the recommended reforms and I look forward to seeing additional recommendations from the Joint Select Legislative Oversight Committee so that comprehensive reform can be implemented.

“What yesterday’s ‘clarifications’ and today’s report miss is the gross misuse of confidentiality.

“When I alerted the transition, they used confidentiality to prevent an investigation. When I wanted to tell the Governor, they invoked confidentiality to stop him from knowing. When I wanted to know why Al Alvarez was leaving State employment, they used confidentiality to hide the reason. But confidentiality didn’t stop them telling my rapist that I made a complaint. Finally, the confidentiality clause was weaponized to try to silence me after my Legislative testimony. Confidentiality is used to stop action and silence victims, not to encourage them to report sexual misconduct.

“Justice Verniero’s report states that the administration has the power through its rulemaking authority to amend the State’s EEO/AA policies. I urge the administration to review the strict confidentiality directive, and its application against State employees, and to strike down the strict confidentiality directive which silences survivors. By denying our ability to speak if we complain, the State is denying our ability to be heard.”

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