Before the coronavirus pandemic, lawmakers were holding hearings into allegations of misogyny and a toxic culture for women in Trenton. The hearings stemmed, largely, from a sexual assault allegation made by Katie Brennan, a one-time campaign volunteer for Gov. Phil Murphy. She alleged that a Murphy staffer, Al Alvarez, raped her after a campaign event in 2017. Alvarez denied wrongdoing and was not criminally charged, but the handling of the case by the Murphy administration sparked investigations and lawsuits.
Brennan recently settled with the state, with $600,000 going to a charity of her choice as part of the settlement. Brennan is directing the money to the Waterfront Project, a nonprofit group in Hudson County that helps low-income survivors of sexual assault. She spoke with Briana Vannozzi in her first broadcast interview since the announcement.