Murphy Calls for Bergen County Sheriff to Go, After Racist Remarks Caught on Tape

WNYC | September 21, 2018 | Politics
WNYC obtained a secret recording of Sheriff Michael Saudino speaking offensively about black people and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal

Credit: Bergen County Sheriff's office/Facebook
Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, left, pictured with Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, in May.
The story and the audio clips below contain graphic and potentially offensive language.

Gov. Phil Murphy is calling for the resignation of Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino after WNYC obtained a secret recording of the sheriff making racist remarks about black people and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, the first Sikh in the country to hold such an office. 

The conversation was recorded on January 16, following Murphy’s gubernatorial inauguration, which Saudino attended. He is heard telling colleagues that the governor “talked about the whole thing, the marijuana, sanctuary state … better criminal justice reform. Christ almighty, in other words let the blacks come in, do whatever the fuck they want, smoke their marijuana, do this, do that, and don’t worry about it. You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops.” Saudino also griped that Murphy appointed Grewal solely because of “the turban.” The recording also included Saudino inquiring whether Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, who is unmarried, is gay.

“Without question, the comments made on that recording are appalling, and anyone using racist, homophobic, and hateful language is unfit for public office,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “If indeed that is Sheriff Saudino’s voice on the recording, he must resign.”

Saudino, who is white and a Democrat, is serving his third term as an elected official.

Read the full story on WNYC News, a content partner of NJ Spotlight.