New Jersey gets first Sikh attorney general in U.S. history

Gov. Phil Murphy‘s pick for New Jersey’s top law enforcement job got swift legislative approval Tuesday, hours after Murphy took office.

Former Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal became the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general after the state Senate approved his nomination with a vote of 29-0. He was later sworn into office at a private ceremony.

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,” Grewa. said during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

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.

Meet the people who will lead N.J. under Phil Murphy

Meet the people who will lead N.J. under Phil Murphy

Phil Murphy said he wants his cabinet to reflect the state’s diversity.

Grewal told lawmakers he would continue the Attorney General’s Office’s efforts to stem the opioid crisis and improve relationships between police and the communities they serve.

He said he would direct the Division of Criminal Justice, the office’s prosecuting arm, to work with prosecutors in the state’s 21 counties to coordinate response to the heroin epidemic.

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