Acting Attorney General Matt Platkin is one step closer to having a permanent job as a state Senate committee confirmed his nomination.
“We are dealing with an increase in crime. And as I have said since the day I was appointed, my first responsibility is to keep the state’s nine million residents safe.” said Platkin.
Platkin took a mostly friendly questioning session before the state Senate Judiciary Committee. However, the scandals of the early days of the Murphy administration briefly recurred.
Katie Brennan was a Murphy campaign volunteer who said she was raped by Al Alvarez, who worked for Murphy’s campaign, in 2017. Alvarez and Brennan got a job in Murphy’s administration. , but it was revealed that Platkin did not immediately tell the governor.
“There are certainly things I would have done differently in hindsight,” said Platkin. “And, as I said now, one of the things I said at the time would have been to speak to the governor about certain allegations.”
Platkin also faced criticism for creating pandemic restrictions as Murphy’s lead attorney and for enforcing rules prohibiting active cooperation with federal immigration officials.
“Our goal is to make people feel comfortable interacting with law enforcement because when they do, they are more likely to report crimes, are more likely to serve as witnesses, and are more likely to be proactive about crimes. They’re more likely to tell us when they happen,” Platkin said.
Platkin received praise for changing the rules to allow police to track getaways from stolen cars.
He said his priorities in leading 7,700 state troopers, deputy attorneys general, investigators, and other employees include “fighting gun violence, fighting for racial justice, These include strengthening relationships with our communities, promoting accountability for social media companies, and ensuring access to reproductive rights.”
Despite Republican resistance, the vote to approve his nomination was bipartisan. Now heading to the full State Senate.
Lawmakers also took advantage of the Summer Congress to authorize High Court judges to fill outstanding vacancies.