Paul Rodríguez is director of the Division of Consumer Affairs after more than two years as acting director.
His tenure as acting director began in June 2018. He was confirmed by the Senate Thursday.
“Since his appointment, Paul Rodríguez has demonstrated extraordinary leadership as Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, and he’s played an integral role in the State’s response to our current public health emergency,” said Gov. Phil Murphy in a prepared statement. “I commend the Senate for recognizing Paul’s talent and accomplishments by confirming his nomination.”
Under Rodríguez’s leadership, the DCA has taken enforcement actions against multiple actors who allegedly sought to profit off of other’s misfortune, including a major student loan servicer alleged to be engaged in misleading tactics;
a lender alleged to have taken advantage of small business owners by providing cash advances by deceptive means;
a Medicaid advisor alleged to have abandoned its clients;
subprime auto sellers alleged to have sold and repossessed the same vehicles multiple times; and businesses claiming to offer immigration services they were not trained or authorized to provide.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, DCA has increased the availability of health care workers and telemedicine care, and has held accountable businesses price gouging PPE, cleaning supplies, and staple goods, and those selling false tests, cures, or treatments.
Outside of actions directly related to the pandemic, the DCA under Rodríguez has sued opioid manufacturers and revoked licenses of indiscriminate prescribers while setting rules to promote responsible prescribing and revamping technology platforms to give prescribers the tools they need to administer proper care. The DCA has also operated a consumer take-back program.
The DCA team has also worked with the Department of Environmental Protection to hold accountable used car dealerships that’ve unlawfully sold or advertised tampered vehicles that release excessive amounts of air pollution and held the makers of firefighting chemicals which contaminated the state’s groundwater accountable.
“It is a privilege to lead the Division and an honor to work alongside the men and women who work tirelessly day in and day out, even in the midst of a global pandemic, to protect the people of this great state,” Rodríguez said. “While much about how we do our jobs, and what our jobs require, has changed during the current state of emergency, our mission has not. We are here to stand up for our residents to create a safer, fairer New Jersey.”
Prior to leading the DCA, Rodríguez served as acting counsel to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, as a projects specialist for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, and an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in New York City.