New Jersey appoints new leadership for ‘state-level CFPB’

by Francis Monfort29 Mar 2018

New Jersey has named a new director for its consumer affairs division as part of efforts to respond to the pullback of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Donald Trump’s administration.

Governor Phil Murphy will nominate Paul Rodriguez to the role, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has announced. Murphy previously promised to create a “state-level CFPB” in the state. Charged with protecting consumers’ rights, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs regulates the securities industry and oversees 47 professional boards.

“As the federal government abandons its responsibility to protect consumers from financial fraudsters, it is more important than ever that New Jersey picks up the mantle to protect its own residents,” Grewal said. “Paul has the energy and ability necessary to lead the division as we work to protect New Jerseyans from fraud and professional misconduct in the marketplace."

A New Jersey native, Rodriguez currently serves as acting counsel to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In that role, Rodriguez provides advice and strategic guidance to the mayor and top administrative officials on legal, management, and policy objectives.

Rodriguez will begin serving as acting director of the division on June 1. Murphy will formally nominate Rodriguez to the position, which is subject to the advice and consent of the State Senate.

Before he joined the de Blasio administration, Rodriguez was an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City where he worked in areas such as financing transactions, securities regulation, and intellectual property.

In the interim, Kevin Jespersen will serve as acting director of the division, a position currently held by Sharon Joyce, who is transitioning to the Office of Attorney General.

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