Forced to go public: Why an official under N.J. Gov. Murphy had to shame his administration into action

Listen 15:19
Katie Brennan, the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, raises her hand as she is sworn-in to testify before the Select Oversight Committee at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Trenton, N.J. Brennan, a top staffer at the state's housing agency came forward as sexual assault victim and has said too little was done about her complaints, which she reported to law enforcement. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Katie Brennan, the chief of staff at the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, raises her hand as she is sworn-in to testify before the Select Oversight Committee at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Trenton, N.J. Brennan, a top staffer at the state's housing agency came forward as sexual assault victim and has said too little was done about her complaints, which she reported to law enforcement. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

In April 2017, Katie Brennan went to the police saying that her co-worker on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, Al Alvarez, raped her in her apartment. Over a year later, in October 2018, Alvarez stepped down from his new post in the administration — six months after an administration official told him to resign. Why did it take so long for Brennan’s story to make its way into the public eye and why did Alvarez keep his job for so long? WHYY reporter Joe Hernandez, who covered hours of recent legislative hearings on the scandal, joins us on this episode of The Why.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.