Manhattan DA fires back at Cuomo after special prosecutor appointed in Schneiderman probe

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Manhattan DA fires back at Cuomo after special prosecutor appointed in Schneiderman probe
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Political Dave Evans has the latest in the Eric Schneiderman probe.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the abuse case against former attorney general Eric Schneiderman is being criticized by some, including the Manhattan District Attorney.

Meantime, Schneiderman emerged from his Manhattan apartment Wednesday for the first time since he was accused by four women in a New York article.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance had said his office would investigate the allegations, but Tuesday night, Cuomo appointed Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas to handle the investigation. He cited a potential conflict of interest because Schneiderman was investigating how the Manhattan DA's office handled the a 2015 case against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, in which Vance declined to prosecute.

Vance fired back, saying, "No prosecutors are better equipped to investigate and pursue such cases in Manhattan than those in my office," adding, "the only conflict here is one of your creation."

Tuesday night, the governor's lawyer called Vance's comments "both inappropriate and misguided given the ongoing investigations."

"I don't' want even a whiff of a perception of conflict of interest or impropriety," Cuomo said Wednesday in defense of his move.

Now, the NYPD says they plan on reaching out to the women who spoke out about the alleged abuse.

"It's a moment of reckoning, no one can do this to another human being," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "You can't abuse people. You can't harass them. You can't use your power against them. You can't threaten them. You just can't do that."

Cuomo is also asking the special counsel to investigate whether Schneiderman used his staff or office resources to facilitate the alleged abusive liaisons.

New York City Public Advocate Letitia James became the frontrunner to replace Schneiderman. State lawmakers in Albany will make the decision, but James Wednesday seemed to wrap up enough votes to be appointed.

The governor advocated that Albany slow down, but Democrats there seem to be rushing to appoint James. When we asked the governor about her, he wouldn't say much.

"Look, I think there are a number of very good candidates who quote-un-quote have put their name out for consideration," he said.

Schneiderman formally resigned his office Tuesday and now faces a criminal investigation.

He ignored questions from reporters after leaving his apartment building, said "Have a nice day," and was driven away in a waiting SUV.


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