Attorney General

AG Reaches Agreement To Extend Price Cut For Naloxone

The state has reached an agreement with a pharmaceutical company that would extend the price cut for an effective antidote that reverses opioid overdoses for all government agencies, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Tuesday announced.

Under the agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the company will cover a $6 rebate per dose of naloxone, which automatically increases, dollar-for-dollar, to match the expected growth in the drug’s wholesale price.

The rebate is available to the AG’s office and all public entities, including the Department of Health, the city of New York, county governments and drug treatment centers.

“The price reduction announced today will save lives and help agencies across New York fight the scourge of heroin abuse,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Thousands of lives have been saved as a result of the use of naloxone, and it is my hope that getting this powerful, opiod antidote in the hands of more agencies will give those struggling with addiction a second chance at life and sobriety.”

The agreement comes amid heightened concerns over the availability of heroin and its impact on opioid addiction, especially in rural and suburban areas. The GOP-led Senate this year is pledging to once again deal with the heroin addiction issue and hold hearings on the matter.

Schneiderman To Report Raising $1.6M

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s campaign committee is expected to report raising more than $1.6 million over the last six months and will have a combined cash-on-hand amount of $3.7 million, according to a source familiar with the filing.

Schneiderman, a Democrat from Manhattan, is in his second term as attorney general.

For comparison, then-Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in 2008 — two years away from his next election — reported having raised $521,574 and had $1.14 million in cash on hand.

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the longest-serving statewide elected official in state government, has reported $800,170 in cash on hand and raised $672,104 over the last six-month reporting period.

Schneiderman Urges Supreme Court To Overturn Texas Abortion Measures

The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down two provisions of Texas law that are aimed at curbing access to abortions in the state.

The measures include a provision that requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, while also requiring clinics to meet the same standards as surgical clinics.

Proponents of abortion rights have argued that while the provisions were designed with the aim of protecting women’s health, trial courts have found both could actually undermine the state intent.

At the same time, one of the provisions has had the effect of potentially forcing the closure of the last abortion clinic in west Texas, and Schneiderman’s brief argues that a court ruling has found women would be able to access abortion services, but in another, neighboring state.

“The Constitution protects a woman’s right to access abortion services,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Yet we are seeing a proliferation of burdensome abortion restrictions such as those at issue here that are touted as public health measures, but do not actually promote women’s health or safety and stand contrary to medical evidence. We urge the Supreme Court to rule that states cannot adopt baseless restrictions that burden or deny the constitutional right to access abortion services.”

The brief filed by New York and 13 other states, along with the District of Columbia, argues each state holds the responsibility of protecting the constitutional rights of those within its borders and can’t rely on the availability of services in neighboring states.

DraftKings, FanDuel Win Stay To Remain Operational

DraftKings attorney David Boies in a statement Thursday said the daily fantasy sports company has won a stay from its injunction and will continue to operate in New York.

The stay comes after a state Supreme Court judge earlier in the day issued an injunction against both DratKings and FanDuel as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has challenged whether the companies should operate in New York.

“We are disappointed with the Court’s decision, and have filed a notice of appeal and an expedited motion to stay the Court’s decision, pending our appeal, in order to preserve the status quo,” Boies said. “This immediate stay was granted, so we will remain fully operational in New York. We look forward to a full and fair hearing and are confident we will demonstrate clearly to the Court why we should be able to continue to offer our DFS games in New York permanently. We are encouraged by our dialogue this week with New York state legislators. We look forward to continuing that conversation.”

Schneiderman has said the companies provide a game of chance, which would classify them as gambling. Both websites have argued they are games of “skill” given the research involved in selecting athletes.

State Judge Approves Temporary Injunction Against FanDuel And DraftKings

A state judge on Friday granted a temporary injunction against daily fantasy sports websites DraftKings and FanDuel as Attorney General Eric Schneiderman challenges the legality of their operations in court.

The injunction issued by state Supreme Court Justice Manuel Mendez bars both websites from “”accepting entry fees, wagers or bets from New York consumers in regards to any competition, game or contest run on” amid the legal dispute with Schneiderman.

The injunction comes just over a month after Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist letter to both companies.

The attorney general’s office has asserted the operations of daily fantasy sports are essentially “games of chance” or gambling, which is outlawed by the state constitution. Attorneys for both FanDuel and DraftKings have argued daily fantasy picks require more skill from participants than chance, given the research involved in picking athletes to compete in hypothetical matchups based on real-world results.

FanDuel had previously limited its access to New York users during the legal challenge from Schneiderman’s office.

State lawmakers this week at a public hearing raised the possibility of potentially regulating fantasy sports in New York, regardless of the outcome of the Schneiderman legal challenge to both companies.

document.pdf by Nick Reisman

In Letter, Schneiderman Reasserts Office Will Pursue Religious Discrimination Claims

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Thursday sent a letter to top civil rights organizations and Muslim advocacy groups to reassure them he would continue to enforce laws guarding against religious persecution and hate crimes.

The letter comes in an heightened environment over security issues as well as sharp rhetoric from leading presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has proposed barring non-American Muslims from entering the U.S.

“Our nation was founded on a single, aspirational principle: ‘equal justice under law.’ That is equal justice for everyone, regardless of religion,” Schneiderman wrote in the letter. “While some have chosen to exploit fear and anger by targeting certain religious minorities, I want to emphasize in the strongest possible terms that my office stands ready to enforce all state and federal civil rights laws protecting the liberty and equality of people of all religions.”

Schneiderman pointed to his office’s formation of the Religious Rights Initiative, which was designed to address religious discrimination claims as well as pushing for the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws.

In 2012, the AG’s office was part of a coalition of states that filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court after a Muslim woman was denied employment at Abercrombie & Fitch because she wore a hijab.

Generic Religious Rights Letter by Nick Reisman

No Decision Yet In Daily Fantasy Sports Challenge

A state Supreme Court judge on Wednesday is yet to rule on whether to impose an injunction on the operations of daily fantasy sports websites DraftKings and FanDuel.

Judge Manuel Mendez heard arguments from both Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office as well as lawyers for fantasy sports companies as the state seeks to block their activities in New York, arguing they are providing a form of illegal gambling.

“Today, we presented compelling evidence that Daily Fantasy Sports competitions are as legal now as they have been for the past seven years that New Yorkers have been playing them,” DraftKings said in a statement. “We look forward to Justice Mendez’s ruling.”

DraftKings continues to operate despite a cease-and-desist letter from Schneiderman’s office issued earlier this month. Its rival, FanDuel, has restricted use for New Yorkers amid the legal challenge.

Fantasy sports websites insist players predominantly use skill to win cash prizes in selecting players. Schneiderman’s office has argued, as have officials in other states, fantasy sports relies on the luck of the actual performances.

“We were glad to have an opportunity to make our case to the court that DraftKings and FanDuel are operating illegal gambling operations in clear violation of the law, and we await the judge’s decision,” said Schneiderman spokesman Damien LaVera.

State lawmakers have introduced legislation in recent weeks that would classify fantasy sports as games of skill, which would be allowed under state law.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has largely sidestepped the issue, saying he wants to see the legal process play itself out.

DraftKings Attorney: It’s A Question Of ‘Unlawful’ Gambling

Whether daily fantasy sports is ultimately allowed in New York could hinge in part on whether it is deemed to be “unlawful” gambling, DraftKings attorney David Boies said in a conference call with reporters.

In the call, Boies, a prominent lawyer who has represent Al Gore and major sports institutions, compared the activity of picking athletes to assemble on an ad-hoc roster to legally allowed skill games such as mahjong and video games.

“It’s a question of whether it’s unlawful gambling,” he said.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is seeking to block websites that provide daily fantasy sports such as DraftKings and competitor FanDuel, along with Yahoo, arguing these are predominantly games of chance, which are outlawed by the state Constitution’s gambling provision (exceptions through amendments have allowed for commercial casino gambling and pari-mutual horse racing).

Several state lawmakers have submitted legislation that would classify fantasy sports as a game of skill, while others have suggested more complex regulatory schemes will be needed.

FanDuel has limited access to New York users amid the legal dispute, while DraftKings continues to operate.

Boies told reporters in the call his client had no plans to close its operations before a court determination is made.

“All we are doing is continuing teh status quo, we’re not making any changes, until the legal process plays itself out,” he said. “From DraftKings standpoint, DraftkIngs has believed this is the right decision for the company, its employees, its investors and its customers.”

Griffo Blasts AG’s ‘Ridiculous’ Lawsuit

Republican Sen. Joe Griffo on Wednesday knocked Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s lawsuit filed against the Utica City School District over its treatment of refugee students.

Schneiderman’s lawsuit claims the district has over the last several years created a system into which immigrant students are prevented from enrolling in Proctor High School and divert them to alternative education services that are apart from the general student program. The program funnels away not just newly arrived immigrants but students who had been living in the U.S. and recently transferred to the district.

The alternative programs, Schneiderman alleges, are in essence “roads to nowhere” with many of the students aging out or dropping out rather than completing academic credits for a high school equivalency.

“Every New Yorker under the age of twenty-one has a right to attend public school in the District in which they reside, regardless of immigration status or national origin,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Access to a quality education is the foundation of the American Dream. School districts cannot place arbitrary impediments and barriers in the way of immigrants and refugees who have struggled to achieve a better life for themselves and their families.”

Utica over the last several decades has drawn thousands of refugee immigrants, many of whom are Bosnian.

Griffo, who represents the Mohawk Valley city in the Senate, sees the situation much differently than Schneideramn.

“Instead of attacking a struggling school district that is already trying to do the best it can with the limited resources it has, the Attorney General should be focusing on issues that really matter, like cracking down on criminals, cyber-security threats and terrorism,” Griffo said. “This latest legal action smacks of retribution by the Attorney General because the Utica School District was wise enough to join other small cities in suing the state for not providing its students with fair and equitable funding. I am involved in efforts through the Legislature to fix this problem so schools like Utica get the full funding they deserve to best serve all students, but the Attorney General’s egregious and outrageous attack now on our admirable educators does nothing to help accomplish that goal.”

Former Assembly Candidate Arrested For Failure To File

AssemblyA Democratic former Assembly candidate was arrested on Wednesday after she failed to disclose her campaign finances, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman announced.

“Knowingly and willfully failing to file campaign finance disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections is a crime,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the public trust is not undercut by candidates for public office who fail to properly disclose their campaign’s financial activity.”

Michelle Adolphe is accused of not filing the legally required campaign finance reports in her campaign for Brooklyn’s 43rd Assembly district. She was arraigned in Albany City Court and later released. She was charged with three counts of misdemeanor knowing and willfully failing to file statements.

Adolphe is, by any measure, not a big fish: She finished third in a Democratic primary last year, having received 843 votes.

Still, Sugarman in a statement said it’s a matter of ensuring that political candidates disclose who and how their campaigns are being funded. More >