Police chief of New Jersey town steps down after he’s heard ‘calling the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general ‘that f****** guy with the turban’ and describing a prosecutor as “hot”‘ in leaked audio recording
Chief Richard Trigo stepped down over accusations that he made racist and sexist comments toward county and state officials which were all recorded on tape
Chief Trigo is accused of making derogatory comments regarding the country’s first Sikh attorney general, Gurbir Grewal
He is also alleged to have made racist comments about New Jersey’s first Asian American county prosecutor, Grace Park
Trigo who is Hispanic was the police chief for Fanwood, New Jersey, a small township of around 7,000 people about 10 miles southwest of Newark
He stepped down on Monday as the chief but has not resigned or quit
‘Chief Trigo, the first Spanish police Chief in Fanwood’s history, denies making any inappropriate comments.’said Trigo’s attorney who claimed the recording was ‘manipulated and spliced’
An undated audio surfaced on July 4, an audio recording was posted to YouTube in which Trigo allegedly says former acting Union County Prosecutor Grace Park “is pretty hot” and “she got wide ones.” He also allegedly calls her “Chinese.”
Park was the first Asian American county prosecutor in New Jersey and the first woman and minority to lead the prosecutor’s office in Union County. Park is a member of the Council of Korean Americans.
Trigo also allegedly refers to New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, the nation’s first Sikh state attorney general, as “that f—— guy with the turban” and says, “I wanna pull him like a top.”
The person on the recording is alleged to be Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo .
NJ Police Chief Richard Trigo is caught on audio making inappropriate statements against County and State officials
The Union County prosecutor’s office announced that Chief Trigo had notified the town’s mayor and council Friday night that he would step down effective Monday.
Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay Ruotolo said in a statement Monday that her office will temporarily oversee the leaderless department.
Ruotolo said that an investigation into the recording had been launched and suggested Trigo would need to ‘immediately step down’ or face disciplinary action to remove him from office, if the recording turns out to be authentic.
It has not been established when the recording which allegedly contains insults aimed at former Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park, [left], and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, [right], was made
The search for a new chief has already begun.
On Monday, an attorney representing Trigo disputed Ruotolo’s version of events.
‘Chief Trigo did not resign or quit,’ Joshua McMahon wrote. ‘Any assertion to the contrary is categorically and demonstrably false.
‘Chief Trigo had previously begun the process to retire on September 1, 2020 and, until that time, elected to take leave to handle a family-related health issue.’
In a statement delivered to NBC, McMahon said that the recordings had ‘manipulated and spliced,’ although he would not comment on whether the voice heard on the tape was that of Trigo’s.
‘Chief Trigo, the first Spanish police Chief in Fanwood’s history, denies making any inappropriate comments. These altered recordings have unquestionably been manipulated and spliced together by persons upset with the reform and progress the Fanwood Police Department has made under Chief Trigo’s leadership, including the Chief personally hiring and promoting more minorities than any Chief in Fanwood’s history,’ McMahon said in a statement.
McMahon said Trigo ‘remains committed to the community and bringing people together, as he has done for nearly three decades.’
Attorney General Grewal condemned the comments in a statement last week.
He suggested that if the comments had been made in front of other law enforcement officials then they should have spoken up and called out the ‘blatant misogyny and racism’ that was on display.