Interviews begin for NY Attorney General replacements in Albany

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There are several candidates being considered.

New York's acting attorney general says she won't seek election as the state's chief legal officer, after the job was vacated when Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned amid a scandal.

Barbara Underwood told state lawmakers on Tuesday that she's not interested in running for the office in November and intends only to serve out the rest of Scheniderman's term if the Legislature appoints her interim attorney general.

The Legislature has the authority to appoint an attorney general, should the job become vacant.

A bipartisan legislative committee began interviewing 13 applicants Tuesday, including Underwood, the solicitor general.

Schneiderman resigned last week following a report by The New Yorker magazine that he physically abused four women he had dated. Schneiderman has denied the accusations.

Other candidates include Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Donnell of Manhattan, who is actress Rosie O'Donnell's brother, and Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman and New York City comptroller.

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-NY, dropped out of the interview process Monday, saying he supports Underwood's remaining in the job until the election.

Lawmakers could also decide to wait to appoint the November election winner, who stands a strong chance of being a Democrat in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-to-1.

The Democratic Party's candidate for attorney general will be selected at next week's Democratic state convention, to be held on Long Island.

It was unclear how Governor Andrew Cuomo's interest in the next attorney general will play out in Albany. He told NY1 that there was "an abundance of talent" to choose from, including his staff counsel, Alphonso David. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who's in charge of the selection process as the Legislature's top Democrat, didn't respond to a request for comment on Cuomo's involvement.

In addition to the 13 applicants who have submitted their names to the Legislature, other potential candidates have gone public with their interest in becoming attorney general. They include Zephyr Teachout, whom Cuomo defeated in the 2014 gubernatorial primary, and state Sen. Michael Gianaris, a Queens Democrat. Their opting out of the attorney general interview process is seen as a way to avoid being linked to what some critics have called a back-door deal among lawmakers to appoint Schneiderman's successor.

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politicsattorney generalnew yorkandrew cuomoeric schneidermanNew York
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