Murphy installs new leader at NJ military, veterans department

New Jersey
Phil Murphy

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy speaks during a news conference in Ewing, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has dismissed the state’s top military commander and installed Col. Lisa Hou as interim adjutant general and head of the state’s Military and Veterans Affairs.

Murphy didn’t give a reason in his statement, but the change comes after the COVID-19 outbreak hit the state’s three veterans homes, resulting in 393 positive cases and 146 deaths, according to state health officials.

Murphy faces criticism from Republicans who continue to call for a legislative review of the governor’s handling of the outbreak.

Hou served as a field surgeon in Afghanistan and Iraq and will take over immediately.

She succeeds Major Gen. Jemal Beale, who was sworn into the post in 2018.

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