In historic first, Sikh American becomes Attorney General of New Jersey

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In a historic first, a Sikh public prosecutor “who experienced hate and intolerance first-hand” has become the attorney general of the US state of New Jersey.

Grewal, 44, is a first-generation New Jersey resident, born to Indian immigrant parents in Jersey City and raised in Hudson and Bergen counties.

“I never imagined that my life’s journey could bring me here today,” he said during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Grewal, a registered Democrat, was made Bergen County’s top law enforcement official by Gov. Chris Christie in 2016. Before that, he worked as chief of the economic crimes unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office under former federal prosecutor Paul Fishman.

Appointment of Gurbir Singh Grewal heralded as ‘victory’ by Sikh community

Gurbir Singh Grewal, who wears a turban and full beard, has said he wants to show the country and his three daughters, who attended his confirmation, his commitment to working to end intolerance.

Grewal became a prosecutor to give back to a country that has given him and his family so much. A child of immigrants from India, Grewal grew up in New Jersey in Bergen and Essex counties. As a prosecutor and the chief law enforcement officer of New Jersey’s most populous county, Grewal oversees a staff of over 250 personnel and exercises supervisory authority over almost 3,000 law enforcement officials.

Grewal previously worked for six years as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, prosecuting major white-collar crimes, cybercrimes, cases of securities fraud, and Ponzi schemes. Before that, he prosecuted white collar crimes, narcotics offenses, and terrorism cases for the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Grewal graduated from Georgetown University and obtained his law degree from William and Mary. He is a past president of the South Asian Bar Association of New York. He currently lives in Bergen County with his wife and three daughters.

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