State leaders react as Schneiderman steps down as A.G.
Albany, N.Y. – Eric Schneiderman is already out of his job, but the former attorney general is not out of trouble. Prosecutors on Long Island and in New York City are both investigating the allegations that he violently abused women.
Four women told The New Yorker their accounts of alleged abuse.
The scandal played out in just a matter of hours, leading to the resignation of the attorney general – and leaving lawmakers at the State Capitol stunned.
Lawmakers had little time to react to the allegations. Hours after the report was published, Schneiderman resigned.
“It really came out of nowhere, in terms of the allegations and the story,” said State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.
A day later, they are now learning the details of the physical abuse claims by four women. Schneiderman contests the allegations.
“If the allegations are true, I think it’s the height of hypocrisy, given his vociferous support for the #MeToo movement,” said Senator Rich Funke.
“You can’t lose faith,” said Kolb. “There are bad actors in every profession, and that’s the unfortunate part about this.”
Tuesday, the State Capitol was still reeling from the news. Lawmakers are trying to deal with the implications of Schneiderman’s vacated seat, but are in agreement that he made the right decision by stepping down.
“That will allow him to focus on what he needs to, and allows us to move forward to figure out who the next attorney general is going to be,” said Assemblyman Harry Bronson.
Right now, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood is the acting attorney general. She’ll head up the office until lawmakers figure out the next step. They are also just weeks away from their respective conventions to nominate candidates.
Tuesday night, Underwood released the following statement:
I am honored to serve the people of New York as acting Attorney General. The work of this office is critically important. Our office has never been stronger, and this extraordinarily talented, dedicated, and tireless team of public servants will ensure that our work continues without interruption.