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Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is still planning to attend a forum planned and led by Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick next week, his spokesperson said today.
Grewal will appear on a panel Bramnick organized on “Hate Speech & Division in America,” at Union County College in Cranford on October 21.
Bramnick has faced intense criticism over the last week for language on his law firm’s website that promised to “discredit” accusers in sexual assault cases.
The Bramnick website also touts their ability to have sex offenders removed from the Megan’s Law registry, and notes an “unfair bias against the defendant” in domestic violence cases.
In response to the New Jersey Globe report, Bramnick has removed nine different areas of criminal law from the jonbramnick.com website, including references to rape, gun crimes, carjacking, murder, terroristic threats and drunk driving.
Even before the Bramnick law firm story broke, some key Democratic insiders were critical of Grewal’s participation in an event two weeks before Election Day in a district where Democrats are trying to flip two seats.
Cranford is a swing town in Bramnick’s district.
But not everyone thinks Grewal is making a mistake attending the Bramnick event.
“Keeping our communities safe isn’t a partisan issue and everyone in public service, whether elected or appointed, has a role to play,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault. “Attorney General Grewal has been a consistently strong voice against hate speech and hate crimes. As the chief law enforcement officer in New Jersey, he should be in as many communities as possible in order to shift the norms that allow hate to fester.
“In the world of public policy, we’re called to do good work on behalf of the communities we serve. Sometimes, that requires working with people with whom we may not be aligned in other arenas,” Teffenhart said. “But, wouldn’t New Jersey be a better place if people in positions of power centered people in their policy work, rather than partisan politics?”
Grewal will join former attorneys general, Jeffrey Chiesa and Christopher Porrino. Both served under Gov. Chris Christie and have close ties to Bramnick.
Dr. Athos Brewer, a vice president of Union County College, said he was familiar with pushback over Bramnick’s website but said that it wouldn’t effect their decision to keep Bramnick on as the moderator.
“We’re still going to proceed with the event,” Brewer said. “It’s neutral. It’s educational.”