Ex-state official Alvarez tells panel he was falsely accused

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A former New Jersey government official accused of sexual assault by another state worker has told a legislative committee that he was “falsely accused.”

Albert Alvarez began testifying Tuesday before the joint legislative oversight committee. The panel was established last year to investigate hiring practices after the allegations emerged.

Until October, Alvarez was chief of staff of the Schools Development Authority. He resigned when a newspaper published Katie Brennan’s account that he sexually assaulted her while they worked to get Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy elected in 2017.

Alvarez has denied wrongdoing. Two county prosecutors declined to bring criminal charges.

Alvarez is also expected to discuss only the administration’s hiring practices during the hearing.

A key unanswered question after months of legislative hearings is who hired Alvarez at the schools authority.

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