Attorney General

Schneiderman Cheers Puzder’s Withdraw

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman celebrated the withdraw of businessman Andrew Puzder as labor secretary on Wednesday, a development that is also be feted by organized labor.

“I stand with millions of working men and women across America in cheering Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw his troubled nomination for Labor Secretary,” Schneiderman said. “Puzder had no business running the Labor Department — an agency that uncovered wage theft at a number of Puzder’s own restaurants — and it remains baffling that President Trump even nominated him in the first place. President Trump’s next nominee for Labor Secretary must be committed to protecting workers’ rights, rather than seeking to undermine them at every turn. Whoever that nominee is, I stand ready to use the full force of my office to ensure that workers are treated fairly.”

The nomination of Puzder, a former fast food executive who had led the company that owned Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., had previously come under the scrutiny of labor groups for his support for automation. Support for his confirmation further collapsed following revelations that he had employed an undocumented immigrant and had assaulted his wife.

Democrats had previously sought to scuttle the nomination of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to no avail.

“Fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder should have never been nominated to lead a department once headed by Frances Perkins, a true working-class hero,” said Héctor Figueroa of 32BJ SEIU. “That’s why today, as we celebrate Puzder’s withdrawal, we should also honor Perkins and the many men and women who dedicated their lives to fight for the minimum wage, equal pay, the 40-hour week and the right to have a voice at work. It’s because of them and the millions of hardworking Americans who continue to fight for what’s right that we will prevail.”

After 12 Years, Greenberg Case Finally Settled

The long running fraud suit against former AIG CEO Hank Greenberg has been settled after 12 years, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Friday announced.

The securities fraud case first began under the tenure of then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2005 as he undertook an aggressive pursuit of Wall Street malfeasance that redefined the scope and ambition of the office.

As part of the settlement announced on Friday, Greenberg will pay $9 million — most of the money he was paid in bonuses during a period of questionable transactions that under scrutiny by prosecutors.

The settlement also includes the case of AIG’s former chief financial officer, Howard Smith.

“Today’s agreement settles the indisputable fact that Mr. Greenberg has denied for twelve years: that Mr. Greenberg orchestrated two transactions that fundamentally misrepresented AIG’s finances. After over a decade of delays, deflections, and denials by Mr. Greenberg, we are pleased that Mr. Greenberg has finally admitted to his role in these fraudulent transactions and will personally pay $9 million to the State of New York.”

AIG had previously settled the fraud case in 2006, paying $1.6 billion, but both Smith and Greenberg had refused.

The case stemmed from two deals Smith and Greenberg executed known as GenRe and Capco, which prosecutors said misrepresented losses and misstated the results between 200 and 2004.

DNC Spotlights Schneiderman’s Voting Bill

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday praised the bill introduced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week that aims to expand voting access in New York.

“Once again, Democrats are making a difference. The 2016 election was our first since the Supreme Court decision that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act,” said the party’s interim chairwoman, Donna Brazile, in a statement.

“But instead of working to restore the voter protections we lost, President Trump and the Republican Party have been making false claims about voter fraud, and sowing seeds of doubt about our elections. They’re doing it for one reason: they want fewer Americans to vote on Election Day, especially in communities that have been historically disenfranchised.”

The measures backed by Schneiderman this week would provide for a system of early voting in the state, consolidate the two federal and state party primaries in a single date and allow for same-day enrollment, among other provisions.

The bill, similar to what is being pushed for by Democratic lawmakers in the Legislature, faces an uncertain path in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Still, the measures may resonate for Democrats in New York (and nationally) amid a wave of concern from the party’s base over President Donald Trump’s administration.

“That’s why it’s so important for Democrats to take action like Attorney General Schneiderman is doing in New York today,” Brazile said. “We cannot stand idly by while Republicans attack the sacred right to vote. We must continue fighting to protect voting rights and expand access to the ballot box so every eligible citizen will have his or her voice heard.”

Schneiderman Unveils Voter Reform Package

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday unveiled a package of measures aimed at overhauling and making it easier to vote in New York.

The measures, called the New York Votes Act, would create a system of early voting, automatic and same-day registration, consolidate state and federal primaries and shorten the deadline for registering in a political party.

“Any law that makes it easier to vote is a good law; any law that makes it harder to vote is a bad law,” Schneiderman said.

“New York has long been a bastion of democracy, but our state’s current system of registration and voting is an affront to that legacy. The New York Votes Act will help our state become a national leader in protecting and expanding voting rights for New Yorkers.”

The legislation, broadly speaking, is similar to efforts backed by Democrats in the state Senate as well as the Assembly. Senate Democrats this week unveiled their own voter reforms this week as part of a response to Donald Trump’s administration.

Schneiderman’s legislation comes after his office conducted a review of voting in New York, identifying issues with registration and participating in party primaries.

Similar measures have stalled over the years in the Republican-controlled Senate. Lawmakers remain at odds over unifying the state’s primary dates for federal elections — held in June by court order — and state and local party primaries, held in September.

NY Renews Video Gives Schneiderman A Starring Role

The environmental organization that is trying to counter President Donald Trump on issues like climate change has released a video giving Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a starring role.

The video from the group, NY Renews, features Schneiderman urging organization on he issue.

“It’s time for New Yorkers to take the lead in the battle against climate change,” the ad declares.

The video also comes as Schneiderman was profiled by Politico this morning, which touted him as a liberal counter to Trump’s presidency.

Schneiderman On Immigration Executive Order: ‘This Is Not A Close Call’

During a press conference in Buffalo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman discussed his office’s decision to join the America Civil Liberties Union in suing the Trump administration. The lawsuit seeks to overturn the president’s executive order suspending the U.S. refugee program and temporarily banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim states.

Schneiderman said it was pretty clear to him the intent of the order was to discriminate against immigrants based on religion which is unconstitutional. The administration says the order was not specifically aimed at Muslims.

“Five courts have looked at this,” Schneiderman said. “All five very quickly said this order contains constitutional violations. This is not a close call.”

The attorney general said the executive order has caused a chaos at New York airports and his staff has been working with the U.S. Attorney’s office to make sure nobody is being improperly detained. He said the order affects millions of New Yorkers who aren’t detainees too.

“All of the business that are affected suffer and we’ve had huge support for our efforts from people in the finance committee, in the tech committee, in the healthcare community where we’re very dependent on immigrants for a variety of different services,” he said.

Schneiderman said he’s confident the order will eventually be struck down but in the meantime he’s trying to mitigate the harm it causes.

Schneiderman Formally Joins Suit Overturning Trump Order

The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday formally filed a motion to join a lawsuit that is seeking to overturn President Donald Trump’s executive order placing a moratorium on immigration and refugees.

The order blocks immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for three months and bans migrant refugees for four months.

The order issued late last week set off a furor at airports nationwide as some travelers were detained as they sought to gain entry to the country.

Trump and the administration have insisted the ban isn’t aimed specifically at Muslims.

But Schneiderman in his order alleges the intent is to discriminate against the religion, pointing to comments made by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

At the same time, the New York attorney general is pointing to the “sweeping breadth and lack of clarity” that led to confusion over how to interpret the order.

“Our proposed complaint describes how President Trump’s executive order is not only unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American, but also how it does profound harm to our families, our economy, and our educational and health care institutions,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “President Trump’s intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight this discriminatory ban and protect all those caught in the crossfire of its chaotic implementation.”

The lawsuit was initially filed last weekend by several organizations, including American Civil Liberties Union.

Schneiderman Joins ACLU Lawsuit Against Trump Order

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office will join the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal challenge to the executive order issued by President Donald Trump placing a moratorium on immigration and refugees.

“As I’ve made clear: President Trump’s executive action is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American,” Schneiderman said in a statement on Tuesday. “That is why my office will be filing to join the federal lawsuit against President Trump and his administration. I’m proud to partner with these organizations to fight to permanently strike down this dangerous and discriminatory order.”

The lawsuit was filed soon after Trump issued the Friday order that bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries for three months and refugees for four months. Aspects of the order have been delayed by federal judges after protests erupted at international airports around the country.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to not just fight this executive order, but to protect the families caught in the chaos sown by President Trump’s hasty and irresponsible implementation – including pressing DHS and CBP to provide a full list of those still detained and allow them access to legal service providers,” Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman has tussled in court with Trump before, having led a class-cation lawsuit filed over false advertising claims made against Trump University. The suit was settled before Trump took office.

Schneiderman Settles With DeVry For $2.75M

DeVry Education Group, Inc. will pay $2.75 in restitution and penalties following a settlement with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office over the for-profit education company’s claims of post-graduate success and employment.

“DeVry used misleading claims to lure in students who were simply seeking a college degree, greatly exaggerating job and salary prospects for graduates” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I’m pleased that this settlement provides much-deserved restitution to students who were misled, and requires DeVry to stop its false advertising.”

The settlement comes as the for-profit education industry was battered by increased oversight and regulation by Barack Obama’s administration. President Donald Trump, who ran his own for-profit education enterprise that came under the scrutiny of Schneiderman’s office as well, is expected to be more supportive of for-profit colleges and institutions.

Consumer watchdogs have been critical of institutions like DeVry that make claims of successful graduates to lure in students.

In DeVry’s case, the company advertised 90 percent of their graduates were seeking employment in their field of study had done so successfully.

The company mischaracterized those still seeking a job as “inactive” even though those graduates were still looking for employment and inflated the numbers, according to Schneiderman’s office.

The settlement includes a $2.25 million restitution to eligible DeVry graduates as well as $500,000 in penalties, fees and costs.

Schneiderman Provides “Legal Roadmap” For Sanctuary Cities

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday released a “legal roadmap” for New York cities who wish to protect immigrant communities under the incoming presidential administration of Donald Trump.

At the same time, Schneiderman provided legal guidance that would in essence allow local governments to enact in law so-called “sanctuary” policies.

“Public safety relies on trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. No local law enforcement agency should have to undercut that trust just to carry out Donald Trump’s draconian immigration policies,” Schneiderman said.

“The legal guidance and model policies my office released today give local governments the tools they need to protect immigrant communities from any over-reach by federal agencies. New York has a long history of welcoming immigrants and embracing diversity. Now, more than ever, we must stand up for our values of inclusion and pluralism.”

As released by the attorney general’s civil rights bureau, the policies outline the limits local law enforcement can participate in federal immigrant enforcement efforts, including refusing to enact non-judicial warrants in civil cases, denying requests by federal officials in holding people longer than 48 hours and limits on the access Immigration and Customs Enforcement or border protection officers can have with those currently in custoy.

And the policy provides guidance for limits on sharing and gathering information that would be used by federal immigration enforcement.

Such sanctuary measures have been adopted in cities like Syracuse and New York City.

“Cities have long been welcoming and inclusive places and I am proud Syracuse is standing with our immigrant brothers and sisters in that tradition of diversity,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. “As long as I am Mayor, we will not use our resources to enforce federal anti-immigrant policies. I appreciate the Attorney General standing with cities like Syracuse and offering his support as we make these decisions for our citizens.”

Here’s the outline of the guidance as provided by Schneiderman’s office:

Guidance.concerning.local .Authority.particpation.in .Immigration.enforcement.1.19.17 by Nick Reisman on Scribd