Attorney Gurbir Grewal became the first Indian-American of Sikh faith to be nominated in the state of New Jersey as the chief law enforcement officer of a county om January 4th. Grewal, 42, a leading state attorney, became the first ever Sikh to be sworn in to take over as acting Bergen County prosecutor, in anticipation of a confirmation some time soon. Judge
Bonnie J. Mizdol swore in Grewal as his wife Amrit looked on.
Gov. Chris Christie who had first nominated Grewal to be the Bergen County prosecutor in 2013, told lawmakers in a Dec. 31 letter that he intends to send in a re-nomination request when the state legislative session resumes in the second week of January. The state Senate has to confirm Grewal’s appointment which was stuck in limbo two years ago because the upper house failed to even schedule a hearing to clear the Indian-American nominee.
Grewal has an active advocate in the legislature. State lawmaker Raj Mukherji, told the media that he will be lobbying hard to get his colleagues to clear Grewal’s nomination. “I hope that my counterparts in the Senate act swiftly to confirm this exceptional nominee,” Mukherji said, calling it “historic but long overdue,” in a state that has a significant Asian-American and Indian-American population.
Born and raised in the U.S., Grewal takes over the post held for 14 years by John Molinelli who returns to private practice. Grewal has more than a decade of experience prosecuting cases including some major white collar crimes at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
“I’m not only excited that the Governor appointed a South Asian, or that he reached across party lines to appoint a Democrat, but especially that he appointed Gurbir Grewal.” Mukherji said highlighting Grewal’s prosecutorial experience.
When Christie nominated Grewal the first time in 2013, U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman praised Grewal’s work and his personality. “He’s a tremendous lawyer; thoughtful, well-prepared, great judgment and well-liked by his adversaries, the judges and his colleagues,” Fishman said, according to a Northjersey.com report.
A graduate of Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., Grewal got his law degree from The College of William and Mary – Marshall Wythe Law School. Immediately before he took over as acting Bergen County prosecutor Jan. 4, Grewal was chief of the Economic Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office since February 2014. Prior to that he was the deputy chief in the Economic Crimes Unit and the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section from July 2013 to February 2014. From November 2010 to July 2013, Grewal was assistant U.S. Attorney, Economic Crimes Unit. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Grewal was in private practice at the law firm Howrey LLP from 2008 to 2010. He also served for three years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, from 2004 to 2007.