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No. 2: Gurbir Grewal

Law Power 50

Grewal earned the status of a power player not just in New Jersey, but in the nationwide Sikh-American community. The 45-year-old from Glen Rock rose to prominence as the Christie-era Bergen County prosecutor, and was named to New Jersey’s top law job in December 2017.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal attends the daily coronavirus briefing in Trenton on March 23, 2020.

Attorney General Gurbir Grewal attends the daily coronavirus briefing in Trenton on March 23, 2020. – EDWIN J. TORRES/GOVERNOR’S OFFICE

Grewal is still conducting an investigation of New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s corporate tax incentive programs. But much of his focus will likely center on the state’s long-term care facilities, which have been the sites of some of the most deadly COVID-19 outbreaks. About half of the state’s fatalities from the disease have occurred at such facilities.

“We are not alleging any misconduct … but we will evaluate whether some facilities put profits over patients,” Grewal said during one of the governor’s daily COVID-19 press briefings in Trenton. “We are looking back and we will hold people accountable if anything criminal happened.”

Among the problematic facilities was the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center, a 699-bed facility where 17 bodies were found in what was described as a makeshift morgue. Given such outcomes, the results of the state’s inquiries could reshape the long-term care industry in the state. “We’ll simply follow the facts and the law wherever they lead us,” Grewal said, be it criminal or civil charges, civil liability, or simply a corrective action plan.

In addition, Grewal is working on consumer protection during the pandemic. The Division of Consumer Affairs aggressively looks into allegations of price-gouging related to the outbreak. Targets include both New Jersey and out-of-state retailers and e-commerce companies. And the AG helped establish an anti-fraud task force with U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

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