Eyes on the Prize
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed today that he doesn’t wear eyeliner–contrary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reported inquiry on the subject.
“I don’t wear eyeliner–not that I would have any problem with anyone who chooses to wear eyeliner,” Mr. Schneiderman told Politicker–perhaps channeling a famous episode of Seinfeld–when asked about the report and his overall relationship with the governor.
New Year's Eve Plans
Eric Schneiderman has mastered the art of the subtweet—a public message covertly addressed to a specific individual.
correcting the record
Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will officially take the oath office at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2014 in an “intimate ceremony” inside his Park Slope home, his transition team announced evening.
Mr. de Blasio will be sworn in by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The private midnight ceremony, which will be attended by his wife, Chirlane McCray and kids Dante and Chiara, and will be closed to the press, but will be live-streamed on the city’s official site, NYC.gov.
Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer insists he’s not diving back into the political arena just yet, contrary to a New York Post report earlier this evening.
Good Will Huntley
After the head of a Queens nonprofit tied to former State Senator Shirley Huntley was arrested today, two council members reportedly under investigation sought to distance themselves from the case.
Neither Mark Weprin nor Leroy Comrie, whom insiders generally regard as above-the-board types, said they had been contacted by investigators, despite a New York Post story reporting that they were being probed.
“I have not been contacted by an investigative agency,” Mr. Comrie told Politicker after reading that he was being investigated by the Attorney General and State Comptroller for allocating money to an allegedly sham nonprofit.
Law & Order
She may have already admitted to corruption, but it was not her fault that she was prosecuted, former State Senator Shirley Huntley repeatedly insisted today. She provided many excuses.
A month from serving a year-long prison sentence, Ms. Huntley claimed, for example, that she was singled out for an investigation because she didn’t tell her constituents that the current attorney general’s electoral opponent was “a racist and only locks up black people” during the campaign.
“He was upset with me about certain things that he wanted me to do,” Ms. Huntley said of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a former colleague in the State Senate before he ran for higher office in 2010. Mr. Schneiderman faced a crowded field in the Democratic primary, including Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, whom Ms. Huntley alleged she was asked to malign.
End of the Linen
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman took to the airwaves today to denounce the Defense of Marriage Act on legal grounds, arguing that it will be ruled unconstitutional because it “discriminates” against New York State’s recognition of same-sex marriages. The high-profile case is set to go before the Supreme Court later this week.
“This is something that, without getting too far into the merits of the case, I think the Supreme Court will strike down,” Mr. Schneiderman said this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show. “This is an overreach by the federal government, this is inconsistent with our federalist system and I think this one will definitely fall.”
The Huntley Becomes the Hunted
Earlier this afternoon, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced both the arrest and conviction of Mohanbhai “Mohan” Ramchandani, who pleaded guilty to felony tax-evasion charges. In the press release detailing the case, Mr. Ramchandani was labeled a “prominent tailor,” and indeed he has styled many members of the city’s political class including former mayors Rudy Giuliani (conservative, two-button suit in blue and gray) and Ed Koch (classic, no darts, straight pants and suspender buttons).
nonprofits on notice
Former State Senator Shirley Huntley, who has already plead guilty to federal embezzlement charges, decided to settle her affairs this morning by pleading guilty to separate state-based charges of tampering with evidence during the embezzlement investigation. Specifically, in the words of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman when he unveiled the indictment last summer, Ms. Huntley was accused of “falsifying business records, conspiracy and tampering with an investigation in a scheme to steal taxpayer money using a sham nonprofit that did not provide any services to the public whatsoever.”
Ms. Huntley initially maintained her innocence, including issuing a forceful declaration in an “Emergency Press Conference” on her front lawn. This morning, however, the former southeastern Queens lawmaker reversed course and directly admitted to breaking the law to benefit Parent Workshop, the “sham nonprofit.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is keeping an eye on the assorted charities raising money for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. In a statement released today, Mr. Schneiderman announced he sent a letter to 75 Sandy-focused nonprofits requesting information on their fundraising and spending activities, which he intends to post online.
“Our office commends all of the charities, and their volunteers and donors, who have come to the assistance of New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy,” Mr. Schneiderman said in the press release. “In light of the importance of the recovery efforts, and the enormous amount of money raised in such a short period of time, it is critical that donors know where their money is going, and that funds are spent responsibly. In the name of transparency and accountability, we must ensure that funds raised for Hurricane Sandy relief are used for that purpose.”