Rep. Josh Gottheimer wants Bergen County Sherriff Michael Saudino to resign following the release of a recording on which the latter made racist remarks about black people and state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
“Like many others, I was surprised and saddened by Sheriff Saudino’s unacceptable comments. I know that the Sheriff would never want to do anything to distract from the excellent work of the men and women in law enforcement. I believe it’s best that the Sheriff resign,” Gottheimer said. “Bergen County needs to have full confidence that its Sheriff represents and protects all of the people, equally under the law.”
Saudino endorsed Gottheimer over former Cresskill Councilman John McCann, who formerly worked for the sheriff, in June.
Saudino’s remarks, which were first reported by WNYC, followed Gov. Phil Murphy’s inauguration.
“He talked about the whole thing, the marijuana, sanctuary state…better criminal justice reform. Christ almighty, in other words let the blacks come in, do whatever the fuck they want, smoke their marijuana, do this do that, and don’t worry about it,” Saudino reportedly said. “You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops.”
In addition to those comments, Saudino said Grewal, who hails from Bergen County, was appointed because of his turban.
Grewal, a Sikh, was recently the subject of racist remarks from two hosts on NJ 101.5. Dennis Malloy and Judi Franco repeatedly referred to Grewal as “turban man” during a segment in July. They were suspended for roughly one week.
Gottheimer’s call for Saudino’s resignation follow a similar call from Murphy.
“Without question, the comments made on that recording are appalling, and anyone using racist, homophobic, and hateful language is unfit for public office,” Murphy said in a statement. “If indeed that is Sheriff Saudino’s voice on the recording, he must resign.”