Gurbir Grewal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gurbir Grewal
Gurbir-S-Grewal Official.jpg
61st Attorney General of New Jersey
In office
January 16, 2018 – July 19, 2021
GovernorPhil Murphy
Preceded byChristopher Porrino
Succeeded byAndrew Bruck (acting)
Prosecutor of Bergen County
In office
January 4, 2016 – January 16, 2018
Acting: January 4, 2016 – January 12, 2017
Appointed byChris Christie
Preceded byJohn Molinelli
Succeeded byDennis Calo
Personal details
Gurbir Singh Grewal

(1973-06-23) June 23, 1973 (age 49)
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationGeorgetown University (BS)
College of William & Mary (JD)

Gurbir Singh Grewal (/ˈɡɜːrbɪər ˈɡrwɑːl/; born June 23, 1973)[1] is an American attorney and prosecutor who served as the sixty-first attorney general of the State of New Jersey from January 2018 until his resignation in July 2021.[2] Appointed by Governor of New Jersey Phil Murphy, he was confirmed by the New Jersey Senate on January 16, 2018.[3] He is the first Sikh-American attorney general in United States history.[3] Grewal was formerly the county prosecutor of Bergen County, New Jersey, originally appointed in 2016; he was also the first Sikh American to be named a county prosecutor in the United States.[4] He is the second South Asian to be a state attorney general after California's Kamala Harris in 2011.

It was announced Grewal would resign as attorney general to become director of the Enforcement Division at the Securities and Exchange Commission.[5] His resignation as attorney general was effective July 16, 2021.

Early life and career[edit]

Grewal is the son of Jat Sikh Indian immigrants to the United States. He grew up in Fairfield Township, Essex County, New Jersey and graduated from West Essex High School.[6] Grewal attended Bates College for one semester before transferring to the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, receiving his B.S.F.S. degree in 1995.[7] He earned a Juris Doctor from William & Mary Law School in 1999.[8] He has served as president of the South Asian Bar Association of New York and a member of the New Jersey Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association.[9]


Before becoming Bergen County's top law enforcement officer, Gurbir Grewal served as the chief of the Economic Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey under former federal prosecutor Paul Fishman.[9] New Jersey Governor Chris Christie nominated Grewal to lead the Bergen County Prosecutor's office in 2013, but Grewal was never scheduled for a New Jersey Senate confirmation hearing then. Grewal was confirmed by the State Senate when tapped by Christie the second time around in January 2016 as acting prosecutor, and was finalized in the role in November 2016.[10] In this capacity, Grewal concentrated on fighting the opioid epidemic[11] and white-collar crimes, and strengthening relations between police and communities.[12] In July 2017, while Bergen County prosecutor, Grewal ordered the Mahwah, New Jersey police department not to enforce a ban on non-New Jersey residents using Mahwah parks, stating his concern that a ban could lead to anti-Semitic religious profiling against Orthodox Jews visiting from neighboring Rockland County, New York.[13] On July 26, 2018, two WKXW radio show hosts were suspended for calling Grewal "turban man" on air.[14] In September 2018, then-Bergen County sheriff Michael Saudino resigned under public official pressure, after secretly recorded comments were released disparaging Grewal's wearing a turban alongside derogatory remarks about other groups of people.[15]

New Jersey attorney general[edit]

In March 2019, as New Jersey's attorney general, Grewal touted the first arrests resulting from a law signed in 2018 by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy outlawing ghost guns, stating, "When you see repeatedly the same address, with the same individuals, at the same location continuing to order parts for the same types of guns, some red flags have to go up, that what’s going on here is not somebody who’s an enthusiast or a hobbyist, but rather somebody who’s engaged in illegal trafficking. And that is part of the problem with ghost gun manufacturers, that they are playing fast and loose with our rules."[16] Days later, Grewal filed the first of its kind lawsuit against a ghost gun manufacturer, U.S. Patriot Armory, accusing the company of violating New Jersey's ghost gun ban by ignoring a cease-and-desist order to stop selling rifle-assembly kits to New Jersey buyers.[17] Also in March 2019, Grewal filed lawsuits against ExxonMobil,[18] DuPont, and 3M, accusing the companies of polluting sites in New Jersey; he stated, "We’re sending a strong message to polluters that no matter how big you are, or how powerful you are, or how long you’ve been getting away with contaminating your state’s natural resources, we are going to hold you accountable in court."[19] On March 28, 2019, Grewal announced a directive to all 21 New Jersey county prosecutors to institute college campus outreach protocols to impede sexual violence at the collegiate level.[20]

In April 2019, Grewal announced updated standards for dealing with bias incidents.[21] Also in April 2019, he called for monitoring of comments on the Facebook page of "Rise Up Ocean County", a group which has been called a home for anti-Semitic sentiment targeting the rapidly growing Orthodox Jewish population of Lakewood and surrounding Ocean County, New Jersey.[22] On April 26, 2019, Grewal asked for the resignation of the director of the Elizabeth, New Jersey Police Department amid a scandal over racist and sexist slurs and also replaced the Union County county prosecutor.[23]

On May 1, 2019, Grewal announced the dismantling of an organized crime gambling and loansharking operation[24] and also launched an investigation into prior corporate tax loopholes afforded at the time by the New Jersey Development Authority.[25] On May 6, 2019, Grewal filed suit against the Department of Justice to force disclosure of any evidence of influence-peddling upon the Justice Department's decision to oppose legalized online gambling across the U.S.[26] On May 8, 2019, Grewal indicated that the City of Newark had exceeded its statutory authority by affording civilians subpoena powers over the city's police department.[27] On May 10, 2019, Grewal joined state attorneys general from across the country in filing a lawsuit against 20 generic pharmaceuticals companies, 11 of which were based in New Jersey, along with several individuals, accusing them of collusion and price-fixing.[28] On May 14, 2019, Grewal announced a lawsuit against several large chemical companies, accusing them of selling toxic firefighting foam for decades while knowing the health risks they posed to the public and to the environment.[29]

In June 2019, Grewal's office forced a Bloomfield restaurant which had posted a "males only" hiring sign to pay $1,000 and implement an anti-discrimination policy that explains how workers can file complaints, as well as training managers and staff about the anti-discrimination law; Grewal stated that gender discrimination would not be tolerated in the overall hiring process.[30] In mid-June, Grewal filed a lawsuit against a Nevada gun dealer for selling high-capacity gun magazines illegally to an undercover agent in New Jersey, despite a prior cease-and-desist order issued to the company barring the marketing, selling, and shipping of high-capacity gun magazines to New Jersey residents.[31]

On August 6, 2019, Grewal announced the creation of the first U.S. statewide program to support the mental health of police officers. The goal of the program would be to train officers in emotional resiliency and to help destigmatize mental health issues.[32] On August 8, Grewal announced the dismantling of two major drug- and gun-trafficking criminal organizations, accompanied by the arrests of 28 individuals and the seizure of significant amounts of narcotics, ammunition, and cash.[33]

In 2021, Grewal abolished mandatory minimums for six non-violent drug offenses, and allowed inmates who were serving mandatory minimum sentences for those crimes to request a court review and a new sentence.[34]

U.S. SEC[edit]

On June 29, 2021, Grewal announced he would be resigning as New Jersey’s attorney general to take an appointment as Director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, beginning July 26, 2021.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Gurbir Grewal is a resident of Glen Rock, New Jersey, in Bergen County.[11] Grewal is a father of three,[36] with his wife Amrit.[37] He is also fluent in the Punjabi and Hindi languages.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gurbir Singh Grewal". Sikh Role Model. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  2. ^ "Gurbir S. Grewal Confirmed as 61st New Jersey Attorney General". State of New Jersey. January 16, 2018. Retrieved September 15, 2018. Gurbir S. Grewal became the 61st Attorney General of the State of New Jersey following the inauguration of Governor Phil Murphy today, January 16, 2018. He was confirmed unanimously by the New Jersey Senate this afternoon. "I am honored and humbled to assume the role of Attorney General at this critical time for our state and country. I am grateful to Governor Murphy and the Senate for the trust they have placed in me and I look forward to continuing my service to the state of New Jersey. There's much to do, and I can't wait to get started," said Attorney General Grewal. Prior to his selection as New Jersey Attorney General, Grewal served as Bergen County Prosecutor, the chief law enforcement officer of the most populous county in New Jersey and home to nearly 1 million residents living in 70 municipalities.
  3. ^ a b "N.J. gets first Sikh attorney general in U.S. history". Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  4. ^ Allison Pries and John Ensslin (December 2, 2016). "Bergen prosecutor talks computer crimes, heroin epidemic"., part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  5. ^ Wildstein, David. "Grewal resigning to join SEC". New Jersey Globe.
  6. ^ Pizarro, Max. "Sources: If The Race for AG was Down to Three, Grewal has the Edge to be State’s Top Cop", Insider NJ, December 11, 2017. Accessed December 20, 2017. "Having grown up in Fairfield, Grewal is a lifelong friend of Hoboken Mayor-elect Ravi Bhalla, and a graduate of West Essex High School, where U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-5) also attended school."
  7. ^ Palmer, Joanne (October 18, 2018). "Fitting in, standing out". Jewish Standard. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Welch-Donahue, Jaime. "W&M law alumnus nominated to serve as New Jersey attorney general". William & Mary Law School. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Matt Arco (December 13, 2017). "Phil Murphy to appoint nation's first Sikh attorney general". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  10. ^ Pugliese, Nicholas. "Murphy picks Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal for attorney general". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  11. ^ a b Nicholas Katzban (December 13, 2017). "Opioid crisis worse than crack epidemic, Glen Rock chief says"., part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  12. ^ Nicholas Pugliese (December 12, 2014). "Murphy picks Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal for Attorney General". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  13. ^ Tom Nobile (December 26, 2017). "With park and eruv law rollback, could Mahwah be ready to settle state suit?". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Lartey, Jamiles. "New Jersey radio hosts suspended for calling attorney general 'turban man'". The Guardian. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  15. ^ Richard Cowen (September 21, 2018). "Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino resigns over racist, homophobic comments"., part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  16. ^ Brenda Flanagan (March 14, 2019). "Law enforcement officials tout first arrests of 'ghost gun' traffickers". NJTVONLINE.ORG. Retrieved March 21, 2019. When you see repeatedly the same address, with the same individuals, at the same location continuing to order parts and parts and parts and parts for the same types of guns, some red flags have to go up, that what's going on here is not somebody who's an enthusiast or a hobbyist, but rather somebody who's engaged in illegal trafficking. And that is part of the problem with ghost gun manufacturers, that they are playing fast and loose with our rules.
  17. ^ S.P. Sullivan (March 22, 2019). "Gun dealer shipped 'ghost gun' to N.J. undercover investigator after Murphy banned them, AG says". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Joanna Gagis (March 14, 2019). "NJ attorney general ramps up efforts to hold polluters accountable". NJTVONLINE.ORG. Retrieved March 21, 2019. It's part of our effort to hold polluters accountable in New Jersey — large polluters, small polluters.
  19. ^ S.P. Sullivan (March 27, 2019). "'We're taking on DuPont,' Murphy's AG says. N.J. is suing over decades of pollution at these 4 sites". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Catherine Carrera (March 28, 2019). "In wake of #MeToo, sexual assault forums coming to college campuses across New Jersey this fall". Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  21. ^ Ricardo Kaulessar (April 6, 2019). "NJ attorney general announces new standards for dealing with bias incidents". North Jersey Record. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  22. ^ "NJ AG WANTS FACEBOOK LOOKING INTO 'RISE UP' COMMENTS ABOUT JEWS". Townsquare Media. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  23. ^ S.P. Sullivan (April 26, 2019). "Longtime police boss accused of racist and sexist slurs. AG urges him to resign and takes over Union County prosecutor's office". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  24. ^ Chris Sheldon (May 1, 2019). "5 plead guilty in mob-run gambling and loansharking ring that kicked up millions to Genovese Crime Family". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  25. ^ Nancy Solomon/WNYC and Jeff Pillets (May 1, 2019). "George Norcross' influence: How companies and allies of the Democratic powerbroker got $1.1 billion in tax breaks". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
  26. ^ Jonathan D. Salant (May 7, 2019). "Did Trump try to ban online gambling because that's what his big campaign donor wanted? Murphy's AG just sued to find out". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  27. ^ Karen Yi (May 8, 2019). "City wanted residents to weigh in on cops' discipline. That was the wrong move, AG says". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 9, 2019.
  28. ^ S.P. Sullivan (May 11, 2019). "20 drug companies, including 11 in N.J., sued over 'egregious price-fixing'". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  29. ^ Michael Sol Warren (May 14, 2019). "N.J. accuses chemical giants of selling toxic firefighting foam despite knowing health risks". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
  30. ^ Karen Yi (June 4, 2019). "Restaurant that posted 'males only' job flyer hit with $1K fine, mandated training". NJ On-Line LLC. Retrieved June 4, 2019. "Save for a relatively few circumstances in which gender is a bona fide occupational qualification for a job, employers have a duty to extend equal opportunity in the recruiting process, the job application process, and the hiring process," Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.
  31. ^ Steve Janoski (June 19, 2019). "New Jersey sues Las Vegas gun dealer over high-capacity magazine sales to undercover agent". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  32. ^ Joe Atmonavage (August 6, 2019). "37 N.J. officers have killed themselves since 2016. AG hopes new plan will prevent suicides". NJ Advance Media for Retrieved August 6, 2019. 'We cannot fully comprehend the emotional and mental stress that our law enforcement officers suffer on a daily basis,' said Grewal during a press conference at the Newark Police Department to announce the New Jersey Resiliency Program for Law Enforcement. 'We owe it to them to not only combat the stigma associated with seeking help, but also give to them the tools they need to deal with the stress and trauma they endure.' The program is the first of its kind in the country, according to the Attorney General's office.
  33. ^ Rebecca Everett (August 8, 2019). "28 arrested in takedown of major N.J. drug mills whose dope killed 26 people". New Jersey On-Line LLC. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  34. ^ Katzban, Nicholas. "NJ allows non-violent drug offenders to apply for new sentences". North Jersey Media Group. Retrieved 2021-05-24.
  35. ^ Staff (June 29, 2021). "New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stepping down to join SEC". News 12 New Jersey. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  36. ^ a b Pugliese, Nicholas. "After long wait, Grewal confirmed as Bergen prosecutor". Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  37. ^ Pugliese, Nicholas. "Murphy picks Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal for attorney general". - part of the USA TODAY network. Retrieved December 19, 2017.

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by Attorney General of New Jersey
Succeeded by