Saying he expects the ‘full cooperation of the administration’, Senate President Steve Sweeney today announced the creation of a special Senate Select Committee to investigate the handling of the sexual assault allegations against a former high-level state official, examine government hiring practices and background checks, and conduct a review of the criminal justice system’s procedures for responding to allegations of sexual assault, abuse and harassment. The Assembly later in the afternoon that they will join the committee, said Speaker Coughlin in a statement.
The six-member, bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Investigation will examine the hiring practices and background checks by the government to determine what reforms are needed to prevent abusers from escaping accountability and will conduct a review of systemic problems so that survivors can trust in the ability to achieve justice.
Senator Sweeney named Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg the committee chair and appointed Senator Sandra Cunningham, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, Senator Fred Madden, Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Kristin Corrado as members.
Weinberg previously called for the formation of a legislative panel to conduct an inquiry into how sexual assaults are addressed, while Corrado introduced a resolution to create a legislative committee. Corrado released a statement praising the select committee’s formation; Senate Minority Leader Kean released a statement as well, calling it the ‘right step’. Senator Oroho released a statement saying that being named to the committee is a ‘great responsibility that I take very seriously’.
‘The account of the assault on Ms. Brennan was heart wrenching