From the Morning Memo:

District attorneys are still searching for more clarity on their role now that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been granted the power of special prosecutor in cases involving police killings of civilians.

Schneiderman’s office on Tuesday distributed a letter and memorandum to district attorneys outlining their duties when it comes to cases in which civilians die in confrontations with law enforcement.

The memo grants some powers — previously possessed by DAs — when it comes to specific cases, despite the executive order granting Schneiderman the role of special prosecutor.

Local district attorneys may draft search warrants, preserve evidence and question witnesses, but they may not grant immunity or elicit testimony in grand jury proceedings.

In an interview on Capital Tonight on Tuesday, Albany County District Attorney Soares said the memo from Schneiderman and the executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo were in conflict.

“The executive order was very ambiguous and did not clarify the lines and duties of prosecutors in addition to the special prosecutor,” Soares said. “Now further complicating matters is you have a letter of designation from the attorney general basically conferring the very same authority that we had prior to Wednesday in violation of the executive order and in violation of what we believe is the executive law that gives the governor the executive authority to appoint the AG as special prosecutor.”

A spokesman for Schneiderman has said the attorney general’s office is working with DAs to help enact the order.

“The Attorney General is committed to working with the District Attorneys to implement the Executive Order in a way that ensures a thorough and fair review of any cases that arise,” said spokesman Damien LaVera.

Cuomo signed the executive order last week after state lawmakers could not agree on a package of criminal justice reform measures such as changes to the grand jury process as well as a special monitor for certain police brutality cases.

In doing so, Cuomo said the move was aimed at alleviate concerns that local district attorneys had a perceived conflict of interest when it comes to prosecuting police.

But now the memorandum seemingly keeps district attorneys as, at the very least, partial players in an police-related investigation.

“How can we be eliminating any type of conflict or bias if we’re still involved in the investigations?” Soares said.

The statewide district attorneys association has blasted the executive order as unnecessary, and the group is considering potential legal action.

“We’re now in the process of discussing of what we need to do,” Soares said, “because at the end of the day we’re the 62 elected DAs that are responsible for public safety in our own communities.”

Soares in the interview indicated a legal challenge would be a last resort for district attorneys.

“It’s possible if in fact we don’t have clarity,” he said.