New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal steps down

Indian-American New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stepping down to join SEC

Grewal is the second pick for the post since President Joe Biden took office in January

Gurbir S Grewal, a prominent Indian-American and the longest-serving Sikh Attorney-General of the US state of New Jersey. Credit: AP File Photo

Gurbir S Grewal, a prominent Indian-American and the longest-serving Sikh Attorney-General of the US state of New Jersey, is stepping down to take up a key position with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Grewal, 48, will become SEC's director of the enforcement division, which regulates financial markets, from July 26 after serving since January 2018 as the state's top law enforcement officer, the SEC said in a statement on Tuesday.

“I’m honoured and delighted to welcome Attorney General Grewal to the SEC,” said Gary Gensler, the SEC Chairman.

“He has had a distinguished career as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and as a prosecutor at both the local and federal levels. He has the ideal combination of experience, values, and leadership ability to helm the Enforcement Division at this critical time. I look forward to working closely with him to protect investors and root out wrongdoing in our markets,” Gensler said.

Grewal is the second pick for the post since President Joe Biden took office in January.

The commission had tapped attorney Alex Oh to lead the enforcement division in April, but she stepped down only days later for unstated “personal reasons,” the NJ.com reported.

"The Enforcement Division has a critical role to play in finding and punishing violations of the law," said Grewal.

"I'm excited to get to work with the talented team of public servants to uncover and prosecute misconduct and protect investors. I thank Governor (Phil) Murphy for the opportunity to serve the people of New Jersey and all of the colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work during my career in the state."

Grewal has been the state’s top law enforcement leader for more than three years, the first to hit that mark since the early 1990s, the report added.

As the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general, Grewal and his office have overhauled the rules governing police use of force in New Jersey for the first time in a generation and joined other states to sue the federal government more in three years than the Garden State had in the previous four decades, while simultaneously investigating and prosecuting a range of crimes.

The Attorney General in New Jersey has more direct authority over local police than in any other state, the NJ.com noted.

Grewal graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1995. He obtained his law degree from the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law in 1999.

New Jersey Governor Murphy, a Democrat who appointed Grewal, in a statement said that he will miss Grewal's leadership.

“Though we’ll miss his leadership, I know he’s the right person to protect investors all across the nation.”

“Through his efforts standing up to the Trump administration’s attacks on New Jersey and our diverse communities, instituting historic reforms in policing, and leading the fight against gun violence, Attorney General Grewal has been an invaluable member of our administration,” Murphy said in a statement. 

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