The following information was provided to Tom Moran of the Star-Ledger prior to his publication of Roginsky’s allegations.
1. Did you call her the “c” word? If not, what language were you apologizing for in the letter to her a few weeks later, which she shared?
Absolutely not. Julie did not allege that Brendan used the “c” word at any point in her complaint or during the subsequent investigation. Instead, she reported that he used variants of the word “fuck” during their argument. That was what Brendan apologized for.
On June 23, Julie and Brendan got into an argument regarding a campaign decision. That Monday, June 26, Julie lodged a complaint with the campaign’s legal team. Pursuant to campaign policy, campaign counsel Perkins Coie investigated the complaint. The investigation included an extended interview with Julie.
On July 13, Perkins Coie attorney Ben Stafford wrote Julie an email with the investigation’s findings. As part of his report, Stafford recounted Julie’s allegations regarding Brendan’s language: specifically, that “Brendan was curt and abrupt during the conversation, cut you off on several occasions, and repeatedly used profanity (specifically, variants of “fuck”) throughout the call.” In her response, Julie did not contest this finding or add the allegation that Brendan used the “c” word. In subsequent emails recounting the argument, Julie never alleged that Brendan used the “c” word.
2. Julie claims that she told Murphy in writing and in person that several women on the campaign complained to her that the work environment was toxic, singling out Brendan as the leading offender. She included this in a July 14 email to campaign attorney Jon Berkon, on which Murphy was copied; and verbally in July 17 meeting with Murphy. She offered to provide names of the women on the condition that he would protect them from retaliation. He never asked, and she was fired within a week. So, is that true?
That is false. The argument between Julie and Brendan occurred on June 23. Julie reported the complaint on June 26. Julie was interviewed as part of the investigation into the complaint. During her interview with Stafford and Berkon and in multiple written and verbal conversations thereafter, Julie did not allege that “the work environment was toxic, singling our Brendan as the leading offender.” In fact, Ms. Roginsky repeatedly confirmed that her HR-related concerns about Brendan did not begin until their argument on June 23:
· Stafford’s July 13 report concluded that the argument between Julie and Brendan was an isolated incident and that “[o]ur investigation did not identify any additional interactions between yourself and Brendan of a similar nature.” Ms. Roginsky did not contest the finding that the argument was an isolated incident or allege that it was part of a broader pattern.
· Ms. Roginsky again confirmed this in a July 11 email to Perkins Coie attorney Jon Berkon, noting that “[a]gain, I never had an issue with Brendan until he spoke to me the way he did” on June 23.
· On July 17 – immediately following the meeting where Julie purportedly told the Governor that Brendan had fostered a toxic work environment – Julie emailed the Governor that she had “known Brendan for two decades and we have been very close friends for all but three weeks of that time” and that “[h]e and I are both pretty stubborn and what occurred to me on my drive home is that one of us should just grow up and call the other to hash this all out and move past this.”
Julie’s repeated assertions that her issues with Brendan started with their conversation on June 23 are entirely inconsistent with her claim today that she believed “the work environment was toxic, singling our Brendan as the leading offender.”
On July 14, Julie and Brendan engaged in a back-and-forth email dispute regarding the mail program for the general election. In that email, three weeks after the argument, Julie objected to Brendan’s (correct) classification of her as a campaign vendor and described his use of the term as “smack[ing] of rank misogyny, if nothing else – exactly the same kind of misogyny you exhibited towards me on the phone.” Julie then alleged that “I know, from other women on the campaign, that I am not alone in having you speak to me inappropriately.” She added that “[h]opefully, Jon will have the chance to interview them as well. I am happy to provide names, if they are not too cowed after learning of your retaliation towards me to speak honestly with him.”
It is categorically false that the campaign never asked Julie to provide names of women (or men) who had concerns about the campaign. Berkon and Stafford repeatedly asked Julie to provide them with any information regarding her complaint. On Sunday, July 2, for example, Julie emailed Berkon and Stafford with a follow-up concern after the initial interview, acknowledging that “[Stafford] asked me to notify him of things as they come up” and Stafford thanked her the same day for “these additional concerns to our attention so that we can consider them as we look into these issues.” Julie identified only two people for Perkins Coie to speak with – Gail Gordon and a male campaign staffer. Berkon spoke with both at her request. Moreover, the Governor spoke with Julie the day after she reported her complaint and upon returning to the United States, the Governor personally conducted more than five interviews to try to get to the bottom of the situation. In addition, the First Lady reached out to multiple women campaign staffers and volunteers during this period and encouraged them to openly share with her any concerns that they had. The idea that the Murphys or the campaign did not follow up on Julie’s allegations is categorically false. We repeatedly asked Julie to provide us with information to follow up on and, throughout the investigation, kept these conversations confidential to encourage open dialogue.
Finally, it is important to note the role that Julie played in fostering the campaign environment, as one of the campaign’s principal members for nearly a year. Following one of the conversations that the Murphys had with women on the campaign, an email was provided to campaign attorneys showing that Julie had been verbally abusive to Deputy Campaign Manager Jenny Davis. When Jenny did not accede to Julie’s demand that the campaign do a favor for her personal lawyer, Gerry Krovatin, Julie excoriated Jenny on an email chain with multiple colleagues, writing: “I am a senior member of this team, to say the least. I do not need to ask anyone for permission. When I ask you to do something, which I do very rarely, I expect it to be done. If I do not have dates by close of business today, I am going directly to Phil and I can assure you that this is not a contest I am going to lose. Spare yourself the aggravation and please do as I have repeatedly requested.”
3. She claims that several lobbyists complained to her that Brendan Gill and Adam Alonso were using their position to pressure firms doing business with the state to hire them. She says she told the governor about Berkon about this and recommended that the campaign examine it, and Berkon promised he would, but didn’t. She says she also recommended that he tell all consultants to release names of all clients, but he didn’t do that either.
This is false. Julie repeatedly alleged that Brendan and Adam were using their positions to pressure firms to hire them. Many on the campaign believed that she attempted to plant a story with Politico to that effect, to publicly tarnish Brendan and Adam, and to bolster the political standing of other clients.
Nonetheless, the campaign did examine Julie’s claims. At Julie’s request, Berkon spoke with Gail Gordon regarding this matter. In a July 11 email, Julie identified three other people who purportedly shared this concern – Lori Grifa, David Pascrell, and Eric Shuffler – and urged them to call Berkon. But none of them did.
In addition, at the Governor’s direction, all consultants were required to disclose to campaign attorneys a list of their New Jersey clients. Had Julie remained with the campaign, she would have been required to do so as well.
4. She claims there’s a pattern of discrediting women who complained about workplace, and embracing men who were accused. She cites Katy Brennan (enough said); Julie Fahl (filed complaint on toxic environment, governor diminished offense of Kelly’s chair throwing and then took Kelly into his inner circle); Alison Kopicki (filed complaint claiming toxic, later quit EDA after claiming she was shut out of meets, etc); and her own experience. This doesn’t include the women who spoke to her privately, referred to above. So, any perspective on that narrative welcome.
There has been no effort to discredit women who complained about the workplace. The campaign took Mayor Fahl’s complaint seriously, initiating an investigation, and remediating Kelley’s behavior. Mayor Fahl acknowledged his conduct improved afterwards.
Alison Kopicki and Katie Brennan were not campaign employees.