At various points during his tenure as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Mick Mulvaney has made it clear that the bureau will not be run the same way under the Trump administration as it was under the Obama administration.
In the wake of those changes, several states have indicated that they are prepared to step in and fill the consumer protection void seemingly being created by the Trump administration’s reign over the CFPB.
You can now count New Jersey among those states.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced Tuesday that New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will nominate Paul Rodriguez to serve as the director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, the state agency that is tasked with protecting consumers’ rights, regulating the securities industry, and overseeing 47 professional boards.
According to Grewal’s office, the nomination of Rodriguez is part of the state’s effort to “fill the void left by the Trump administration’s pullback of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”
Rodriguez’s appointment also helps fulfill Murphy’s promise to create a ““state-level CFPB” in New Jersey, Grewal’s office said.
Rodriguez currently serves as acting counsel to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. In this role, he serves on de Blasio’s senior management team and provides advice and strategic guidance to the mayor and top administrative officials on legal, management, and policy objectives.
Prior to joining de Blasio’s administration, Rodriguez worked as an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City, focusing on various areas including financing transactions, securities regulation, and intellectual property.
Now, Rodriguez will take over at the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, which is responsible for enforcing laws designed to ensure the fairness and integrity in the state’s commercial and investment marketplaces, and for assisting consumers with complaints or questions about particular professionals, businesses, vendors, or service providers.
One of the division’s offices is the Office of Consumer Protection, which enforces the state’s Consumer Fraud Act.
Rodriguez will take over as acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs on June 1. Murphy will also formally nominate Rodriguez to the position, pending state Senate approval.
Kevin Jespersen, who currently serves as chief counsel to Grewal, will serve as acting director until Rodriguez assumes the position in June.
“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.”