Late Monday, Bergen County Prosecutor Gurbir Grewal appeared to have a backroom, diner booth edge for the office of state Attorney General, sources said. Unless another name surfaced in the last few days, Grewal looked like the preferred direction by Governor-elect Phil Murphy.
The choice boiled down late to former Assistant U.S. Attorney Phil Sellinger, former First Assistant Attorney General Ricardo Solano and Grewal. At the very least, InsiderNJ can report – with confidence right now – that Sellinger and Solano did not get the job, according to sources close to both men.
Disappointed sources in those camps acknowledged their allies had lost their bids to be AG.
That likely left Grewal standing, but again, another out-of the box option might have emerged.
InsiderNJ reported here that the contest came down to the three of them.
The names of politically connected attorney Angelo Genova and Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez had also circulated.
But on Monday, Grewal looked like the strongest contender late, if not Murphy’s choice.
An announcement was expected later this week.
A Sikh American in a year when South Asians won critical races around the state, he assumed the office of Acting Bergen County Prosecutor on January 4, 2016, and was sworn in as Bergen County Prosecutor on November 14, 2016. He commands an office of 265 personnel at the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, consisting of assistant Prosecutors, detectives, and support staff.
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.
Prior to his appointment, Grewal worked as an Assistant United States Attorney (“AUSA”) in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey from 2010 to 2016. While at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he served as Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit from 2014 to 2016 and oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all major white collar and cyber crimes in the District of New Jersey.
According to the Bergen County Prosecutor’s website, he served as the lead prosecutor in United States v. Drinkman, et al., the largest known data breach prosecution in which the conspirators participated in a worldwide scheme that targeted major corporate networks and stole more than 160 million credit card numbers, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.