Gov. Cuomo, Manhattan DA Vance set aside squabble in Schneiderman probe

NEW YORK (WABC) -- There was a show of solidarity and support between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. Thursday after several days of bitter acrimony.

Vance was angry the governor had moved the investigation of former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, accused of beating several women, from Vance's authority in Manhattan to that of a Special Prosecutor, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

On Monday Vance said, "I strongly object to this move" but Thursday Vance backed down saying, "I want to assure you that I will assist Madeline Singas proudly in any way that she directs."

Governor Cuomo made the decision because of what he saw as a conflict of interest. Before Monday, Schneiderman had been investigating Vance's handling of the Harvey Weinstein case.

"Perceptions matter and I don't want any perception of a conflict of interest," Cuomo said Thursday.

Now, the Manhattan District Attorney and the Suffolk County District Attorney will funnel any information in the Schneiderman investigations to Singas's office.

Suffolk County is involved because one of the alleged beatings by Schneiderman may have taken place in East Hampton. "This was a public official, these allegations are very serious," Singas said.

Also Thursday, Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood indicated she would be "very happy" to hold the job until the end of the year.

The New York Daily News was the first to report that Underwood will submit her name to the state legislature as lawmakers decide how to fill out the remaining eight months in Schneiderman's term.

"They (Albany lawmakers) invited me to do that and I will do that," Underwood said Thursday.

Underwood's decision could undercut Public Advocate Letitia James, who had been cruising to an appointment by the legislature.

Underwood, though, has no desire to run in a primary on September 11th.

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