Eric Schneiderman

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Eric Schneiderman
Eric Schneiderman-Tony West-DOJ2012 (cropped).jpg
65th Attorney General of New York
In office
January 1, 2011 – May 8, 2018
Governor Andrew Cuomo
Preceded by Andrew Cuomo
Succeeded by Barbara Underwood
Member of the New York Senate
from the 31st district
In office
January 1, 2003 – December 31, 2010
Preceded by Efrain Gonzalez
Succeeded by Adriano Espaillat
Member of the New York Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 1, 1999 – December 31, 2002
Preceded by Franz Leichter
Succeeded by David Paterson
Personal details
Born Eric Tradd Schneiderman
(1954-12-31) December 31, 1954 (age 63)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Cunningham (divorced)
Children 1
Education Amherst College (BA)
Harvard University (JD)

Eric Tradd Schneiderman (born December 31, 1954) is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 65th Attorney General of New York from 2011 until his resignation in May 2018. Schneiderman, a member of the Democratic Party, previously served for ten years in the New York State Senate.

In May 2018, Schneiderman resigned his position as Attorney General after The New Yorker reported that four women––including three former romantic partners––had accused him of sexual and physical abuse.[1]

Early life, education, and early career

Schneiderman was born to a Jewish family[2] in New York City; he is the son of Abigail Heyward and Irwin Schneiderman, a lawyer.[3] He graduated from the Trinity School in New York City in 1972 and Amherst College in 1977. He received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1982.[4]

Schneiderman served as a judicial clerk for two years within the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and subsequently joined the international law firm Kirkpatrick and Lockhart LLP (now known as K&L Gates), where he became partner.[5]

Schneiderman later became a public interest attorney, serving for more than a decade as counsel to the West Side Crime Prevention program, and as lead counsel to the Straphangers Campaign's lawsuit against New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority.[citation needed]

Personal life

Schneiderman married Jennifer Cunningham in 1990.[3] They later divorced. They have a daughter, Catherine.[6]

New York Senate

Schneiderman was elected to represent the 31st district in the New York State Senate. At the time, this district comprised Manhattan's Upper West Side, as well as Morningside Heights, West Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill, in addition to part of Riverdale, The Bronx.[7]

Elections

In the 1998 Democratic primary, Schneiderman, defeated Daniel O'Donnell, a civil rights attorney, with 68% of the vote.[8] In the general election, he defeated Vincent McGowen with 82% of the vote.[9] He won re-election in 2000 (84%),[10] in 2002 (87%),[11] in 2004 (89%),[12] in 2006 (92%),[13] and 2008 (90%).[14]

Leadership

In redistricting following the 2000 US Census, the Senate Republican leadership redrew Senator Schneiderman's district in 2002 in order to include Washington Heights.[citation needed] Former City Councilman Guillermo Linares, the first Dominican American elected to office in New York City, challenged Schneiderman for the state senate seat but was defeated.

In October 2009, Schneiderman was selected to chair the special committee to investigate the conduct of former Senator Hiram Monserrate. The bipartisan committee unanimously recommended Monserrate's expulsion from the Senate.

Tenure

Schneiderman was the chief sponsor of the Rockefeller Drug Law reforms, which were passed and signed into law in 2009. The reforms included reducing reliance on long, mandatory minimum sentences, and allocating funds for alternatives to incarceration, focusing on treatment and reentry of prisoners into society.[15] His other legislative activities include passing ethics reforms [16][17] to root out fraud against taxpayers.

Attorney General

2010 election

Then Attorney General Andrew Cuomo endorsing Schneiderman during the 2010 election.

Schneiderman was the Democratic Party nominee for New York Attorney General. He denied being involved in a hit and run in July.[18][19][20][21] He defeated four other candidates in the Democratic primary on September 14, 2010.[22] He won the general election against Republican nominee and Richmond County district attorney Dan Donovan and took office on January 1, 2011.

Tenure in office

In his first weeks in office, Schneiderman launched a plan to root out fraud and return money illegally stolen from New York taxpayers at no additional cost to the state. This initiative includes a new "Taxpayer Protection Unit" specifically designed to go after corruption in state contracts, pension fund rip-offs, and large-scale tax cheats. Schneiderman has also bolstered the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit by cracking down on fraud in the Medicaid program.

Schneiderman was instrumental in pushing for a tougher fraud settlement with large banks over illegal foreclosure practices. Along with California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Schneiderman pushed to prevent the settlement from including immunity for the banks from further investigation and prosecution of other related illegal activities.[23]

New York, uniquely among the fifty states, did not sanction mixed martial arts (MMA) under a 1997 state law. This prompted Zuffa, LLC (the owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship) to sue in federal court in 2015, challenging the constitutionality of the law and naming Schneiderman and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. as defendants.[24][25] The following year, the New York State Legislature enacted a law legalizing MMA in the state.[26]

In August 2013, Schneiderman filed a $40 million civil lawsuit against Donald Trump for his "Trump University" (now known as Trump Entrepreneur Initiative), alleging it to be an "unlicensed university"[27] and calling it a "bait-and-switch scheme."[28] Trump denied all accusations, calling Schneiderman a "political hack."[29] In October 2014, a New York judge found Trump personally liable for the institution's not having the required license.[30]

In September 2013, Schneiderman announced a settlement with 19 companies to prevent astroturfing; i.e., buying fake online praise. "'Astroturfing' is the 21st century's version of false advertising, and prosecutors have many tools at their disposal to put an end to it," according to Schneiderman. The companies paid $350,000 to settle the matter, but the settlement opened the way for private suits as well. "Every state has some version of the statutes New York used,” according to lawyer Kelly H. Kolb. “What the New York attorney general has done is, perhaps, to have given private lawyers a road map to file suit.”[31][32]

2014 election and tenure

Schneiderman won re-election in 2014. His major opponent was Republican John P. Cahill, who had been an environmental conservation commissioner for the state.

In November 2015, Schneiderman issued cease-and-desist letters to daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel, accusing the companies of operating a gambling enterprise that is illegal under New York law.[33] This sparked a six-month-long legal battle.[34] Schneiderman reached a settlement with the companies in March 2016, under which DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to stop operating in New York until September 2016 and Schneiderman agreed to drop all of the state's suits against DraftKings and FanDuel—except for a false advertising claim against FanDuel—if the New York State Legislature passed legislation legalizing daily fantasy sports by the adjournment of the session.[35][36][37]

In its first year in office, the Trump administration sought to scrap numerous Obama-era environmental regulations which Trump has often referred to as an impediment to business.[38] Saying, "Over and over again, the Trump administration has put the profits of multinational polluters over the health and well-being of everyday Americans,” Schneiderman filed over 50 lawsuits opposing Trump's environmental revisions.[39]

In February 2018, Schneiderman brought a civil rights lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, alleging the company "repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination." The lawsuit delayed the sale of The Weinstein Company with the Attorney General adding, "Any sale of the Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated."[40][41]

Allegations of abuse and resignation

On May 7, 2018, Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow reported in The New Yorker that Schneiderman had physically abused at least four women during his tenure as Attorney General.[1] According to the report, Schneiderman had, between about 2013 and 2016, committed acts of violence against four of his romantic partners: the blogger and activist Michelle Manning Barish, the author and actor Tanya Selvaratnam, an unnamed female lawyer, and a fourth woman.[1] The women said that Schneiderman had repeatedly choked, hit or violently slapped them, all without their consent.[42] Mayer and Farrow reported that they confirmed the women's allegations with photographs of wounds and bruises, as well as with statements from friends in whom the women had confided after the assaults.[1]

In his initial response to the allegations, Schneiderman said: "'In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross'".[42] Three hours after the article was published in The New Yorker, Schneiderman announced his resignation effective the next day. In a statement, he said that he "'strongly contested'" the allegations, but resigned because they would "'effectively prevent'" him from performing the duties of his office.[43] Schneiderman's deputy, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, assumed the position of Acting Attorney General. Governor Andrew Cuomo assigned a special prosecutor to investigate possible criminal charges against Schneiderman.[44]

Electoral history

New York State Senate 30th district election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eric Schneiderman 65,158 81.98
Republican* Vincent McGowan 10,919 13.74
Green Julia Willebrand 1,979 2.49
Conservative* David Branche 1,421 1.79

*McGowan was also listed on the Liberal Party line; Brance was also listed on the Right to Life Party line.

New York State Senate 30th district election, 2000
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 90,587 84.12
Republican* Roger Madon 14,516 13.48
Liberal Marc Stadtmauer 1,904 1.77
Conservative Paul Gallant Jr. 680 0.63

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Working Families Party line; Madon was also listed on the Independence Party line.

New York State Senate 31st district election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 40,900 86.52
Republican Bienvenido Toribio Jr. 5,843 12.36
Conservative Michael Walters 528 1.12

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Working Families Party line.

New York State Senate 31st district election, 2004
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 76,365 89.17
Republican Jose Goris 9,272 10.83

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Working Families Party line.

New York State Senate 31st district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 51,202 92.30
Republican Stylo Sapaskis 4,270 7.70

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Working Families Party line.

New York State Senate 31st district election, 2008
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 80,832 89.97
Republican Martin Chicon 8,349 9.29
Conservative Stephen Bradian 662 0.74

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Working Families Party line.

New York Attorney General Democratic primary election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Eric Schneiderman 227,203 34.36
Democratic Kathleen Rice 210,726 31.87
Democratic Sean Coffey 108,185 16.36
Democratic Richard Brodsky 65,683 9.93
Democratic Eric Dinallo 49,499 7.49
New York Attorney General election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman 2,477,438 55.78
Republican* Dan Donovan 1,909,525 42.99
Libertarian Carl Person 36,488 0.82
Freedom Ramon Jimenez 18,028 0.41

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Independence Party and Working Families Party line; Donovan was also listed on the Conservative Party line.

New York Attorney General election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic* Eric Schneiderman (inc.) 2,069,956 55.73
Republican* John Cahill 1,538,990 41.43
Green Ramon Jimenez 80,813 2.18
Libertarian Carl Person 24,746 0.67

*Schneiderman was also listed on the Independence Party, Working Families Party, and Women's Equality Party lines; Cahill was also listed on the Conservative Party and Stop Common Core Party lines.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Mayer, Jane; Farrow, Ronan (May 7, 2018). "Four Women Accuse New York's Attorney General of Physical Abuse". New Yorker. 
  2. ^ Times of Israel: "NY state attorney says he was target of anti-Semitic Trump supporters" August 27, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Jennifer Cunningham Weds Eric Schneiderman". NYTimes.com. October 8, 1990. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Retrieved August 31, 2011". Archived from the original on September 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ Jimmy Vielkind (October 21, 2009). "The Patience of Schneiderman". Observer. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ "ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN (FORMER) (D, WF) 31ST SENATE DISTRICT". NY Senate. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  8. ^ "NY State Senate 30 - D Primary Race - Sep 15, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  9. ^ "NY State Senate 30 Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ "NY State Senate 30 Race - Nov 07, 2000". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  11. ^ "NY State Senate 31 Race - Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ "NY State Senate 31 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  13. ^ "NY State Senate 31 Race - Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  14. ^ "NY State Senate 31 Race - Nov 04, 2008". Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  15. ^ "New York Passes Rockefeller Drug Law Reform". Legal Action Center. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  16. ^ John Berry / The Post-Standard, 2009. "NY hopes incentive will help blow the whistle on tax cheats". syracuse.com. Retrieved July 24, 2012. 
  17. ^ Breidenbach, Michelle. "NY hopes incentive will help blow the whistle on tax cheats". Syracuse Post-Standard. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  18. ^ ANAHAD O’CONNOR (13 July 2010). "Senator Riding in Car During What Witnesses Call Hit-Run". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 May 2018. A state senator running for New York attorney general was a passenger in a car involved Monday night in what witnesses called a hit-and-run accident. The senator, Eric T. Schneiderman, who represents parts of Manhattan and the Bronx, was leaving the NY1 studio in Chelsea after taping an interview when his driver hit a parked minivan and left the scene. 
  19. ^ "NY AG Candidate Involved in What Witnesses Call Hit-and-Run". NBC New York WNBC. 14 July 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2018. An eyewitness saw the incident and recorded Schneiderman's license plate number, which the car owned traced and called police. 
  20. ^ GLENN BLAIN; KENNETH LOVETT (14 July 2010). "Attorney General candidate Eric Schneiderman involved in 'hit-&-run' with Elena Kagan's niece". New York Daily News. Retrieved 15 May 2018. "He has spoken with the owner of the other vehicle, expressed his sincere apology and offered to pay for all repairs," Freedland said. 
  21. ^ Erik Engquist (14 May 2018). "Unanswered questions in the Schneiderman scandal". Crain's New York Business - Crain Communications. Retrieved 15 May 2018. Some years ago he was involved in a hit-and-run, for which he blamed a staff member—a claim that seems dubious now 
  22. ^ Basil Katz, "Schneiderman wins primary for NY attorney general". Reuters, September 15, 2010.
  23. ^ Gormley, Michael (February 3, 2012). "NY's Schneiderman Sues Banks in Foreclosure Effort". Associated Press. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  24. ^ Joseph Ax, [Mixed martial arts promotion sues New York State over ban], Reuters (September 28, 2015).
  25. ^ Ben Popper, UFC Sues New York: Fighters Have First Amendment Right to Mixed Martial "Arts", New York Observer (November 15, 2011).
  26. ^ Laura Wagner, New York Legalizes Professional Mixed Martial Arts Fights, NPR.org, (April 15, 2016).
  27. ^ Peralta, Eyder. "New York A.G. Sues Donald Trump Over 'Unlicensed' University". NPR. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  28. ^ Pagliery, Jose. "Trump defends his school, prosecutor calls it 'a scam'". CNN Money. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  29. ^ Gormley, Michael. "Trump Calls NY Attorney General a 'Political Hack'". ABC News. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  30. ^ Karen Freifeld (October 16, 2014). "New York judge finds Donald Trump liable for unlicensed school". Reuters. Retrieved February 20, 2015. 
  31. ^ Brush, Pete (September 23, 2013). "NY 'Astroturfing' Cases Mark Fertile Ground For Civil Suits". Law360. LexisNexis. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  32. ^ "A.G. Schneiderman Announces Agreement With 19 Companies To Stop Writing Fake Online Reviews And Pay More Than $350,000 In Fines". New York State Office of the Attorney General. State of New York. Retrieved February 20, 2014. 
  33. ^ "A.G. Schneiderman Issues Cease-And-Desist Letters to FanDuel And DraftKings, Demanding That Companies Stop Accepting Illegal Wagers in New York State". Ag.ny.gov. November 11, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  34. ^ What the suspension of DraftKings, FanDuel in N.Y. means for DFS, Sports Illustrated (March 21, 2016).
  35. ^ Chris Grove, FanDuel, DraftKings Reach Settlement With New York Attorney General, Legal Sports Report (March 21, 2016).
  36. ^ Glenn Blain, FanDuel and DraftKings suspended in New York until Legislature comes up with new regulations, New York Daily News (March 21, 2016).
  37. ^ Statement From A.G. Schneiderman On Agreements With FanDuel and DraftKings, Office of the New York State Attorney General.
  38. ^ Popovich, Nadja; Albeck-Ripka, Livia. "52 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump". New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2017. 
  39. ^ Milman, Oliver. "'Sloppy and careless': courts call out Trump blitzkrieg on environmental rules". The Guardian. Retrieved February 26, 2018. 
  40. ^ Barnes, Brooks and William Neuman Weinstein Company Sale Delayed by N.Y. Attorney General Lawsuit. New York Times. February 11, 2018.
  41. ^ Feely, Jef, Anousha Sakoui, and Patricia Hurtado. Weinstein Co. Purchase Offer Deemed Unacceptable by New York AG. Bloomberg. February 11, 2018.
  42. ^ a b Hakim, Danny; Wang, Vivian (May 7, 2018). "Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General, Resigns Amid Assault Accusations". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2018. 
  43. ^ "Statement By Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman | New York State Attorney General". ag.ny.gov. May 7, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2018. 
  44. ^ "New York Today: The Latest on Eric Schneiderman". The New York Times. May 9, 2018. Retrieved May 9, 2018. 

External links

  • Official NY Attorney General Website
  • Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General Official campaign website
  • Eric Tradd Schneiderman listing from New York State Unified Court System
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Franz Leichter
Member of the New York Senate
from the 30th district

1999–2002
Succeeded by
David Paterson
Preceded by
Efrain Gonzalez
Member of the New York Senate
from the 31st district

2003–2010
Succeeded by
Adriano Espaillat
Preceded by
Dale Volker
Chair of the New York Senate Codes Committee
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Stephen Saland
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrew Cuomo
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of New York
2010, 2014
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Andrew Cuomo
Attorney General of New York
2011–2018
Succeeded by
Barbara Underwood
Acting
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