Home>Highlight>Bruck names leadership team, directs staff to address issues of racial disparity

First Assistant Attorney General Andrew Bruck, left, with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, right and Division of Criminal Justice director Veronica Allende inspect the site of illegal dumping under Route 78 in February 2019. (Photo: Office of the Attorney General/Tim Larsen).

Bruck names leadership team, directs staff to address issues of racial disparity

New acting attorney general wants to address gun, policing and social justice issues over next six months

By David Wildstein, July 19 2021 12:35 pm

Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck, who assumed his post at midnight on Saturday, has announced the members of his leadership team, including the elevation of Jennifer Davenport to First Assistant Attorney General.

Bruck has named Matthew Berns, a former U.S. Department of justice trial attorney and currently a senior counsel to the attorney general,  as the chief counsel to the acting attorney general, while Bryn Whittle will serve as Assistant Attorney General and senior counsel to the attorney general.  Whittle is the director of community engagement at the attorney general’s office.

On Monday Bruck ordered his department to identify specific steps that can take over the next six months to address issues of racial disparity that came to light during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brick also outlined his top priorities during his time in office: the reduction of gun violence, the promotion of good policing policies, and issues related to social justice.

Christopher Edwards will continue as Executive Assistant Attorney General and Jonathan Garelick as chief of staff.  Four career Department of Law and Public Safety officials will join Bruck’s leadership team: Pearl Minato as Senior Counsel; Adedayo Adu and Elspeth Hans as Counsel; and John Zutic as Special Advisor on Gun Violence and Prevention.

“I’ve spent the past three and a half years working with some of the most talented, dedicated, and ethical people I’ve ever encountered, and I’m delighted that I’ll continue working alongside them as I move into this new role,” Bruck said. “I’m proud of the diverse team we’ve assembled and remain immensely grateful to Governor Murphy for the opportunity to serve the State in this way. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Gov. Phil Murphy announced last month that Buck would complete the remaining six months of the term of Gurbir Grewal, who resigned to become the chief of enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Davenport will remain as the chief law enforcement advisor.  A former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Davenport served as acting Union County Prosecutor and as counsel to the New Jersey Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration.


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