Gov. Phil Murphy has announced that Andrew Bruck will serve as acting Attorney General of New Jersey following the departure of Gurbir Grewal.
Bruck, who will become the state’s first openly gay attorney general, will serve the remainder of Grewal’s four year term. As an interim appointee, Bruck will not face Senate confirmation.
“Andrew’s wealth of experience will serve him well in this role and his historic appointment reflects our continuing commitment to ensuring that our state government reflects the rich diversity of our people,” Murphy said on Wednesday.
The New Jersey Globe first reported that Bruck would take Grewal’s place.
The 38-year-old Bruck is a graduate of Princeton University and Stanford Law School and served as a law clerk to New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner from 2008 to 2009. He worked as a litigation associate at Davis Polk & Wardell before completing a five-year stint at the U.S. Department of Justice.
He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in New Jersey, and was senior counsel, deputy chief of staff and acting chief of staff to Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. He joined the Murphy administration as Executive Assistant Attorney General in 2018 and has been First Assistant Attorney General since last summer.
“Andrew Bruck has the unique ability to lead by genuinely listening to all sides of issues, crafting bold, principled and practical solutions, and then giving everyone else credit for it,” Yates said. “He is trusted by both the civil rights and law enforcement communities because of his track record for forging much-needed meaningful reforms to our criminal justice system while respecting the difficult and crucial role of law enforcement. He is a public servant in the truest sense of the words, and the people of New Jersey can be confident that he will take his responsibility to represent them to heart.”
Grewal is leaving on July 16 to become the director of enforcement for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bruck is considered a candidate for a full four-year term if Murphy wins re-election in November.
In New Jersey, the attorney general and secretary of state are named for four-year terms and the remainder of the cabinet serves at the pleasure of the governor. The unexpired term Bruck has been named to fill expires on January 18, 2022.
While Murphy praised Grewal’s 3 1/2 years as attorney general, his Republican opponent, Jack Ciattarelli, took a different view.
“No Attorney General was as anti-cop as Gurbir Grewal, so this is good news for our law enforcement community,” said Ciattarelli on Twitter. “Unless, of course, Murphy replaces Grewal with another extreme partisan who is also going to disarm our police.”