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Special Prosecutor Named To Investigate Schneiderman Abuse Claims

Eric Schneiderman
Eric Schneiderman Photo Credit: Lonnie Tague, United States Department of Justice

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate claims of abuse against former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who abruptly resigned late Monday night.

Schneiderman, who had been an outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement, was accused by four women of physical abuse in a New Yorker article that came out on Monday, leading to his resignation and investigation into the alleged incidents.

Cuomo has designated Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas as a special prosecutor in the case to investigate and potentially prosecute Schneiderman if the claims are true. Schneiderman has vehemently denied the claims since they surfaced.

"In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity,” he said in a statement. “I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in non-consensual sex, which is a line I would not cross."

In a letter to Singas, Cuomo praised the women who stepped forward and called the allegations “disturbing.”

"News of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's alleged improprieties as the State's chief legal officer are grossly disturbing and must be fully investigated," Cuomo wrote in the letter. "The brave women who chose to come forward deserve swift and definitive justice in this matter.”

"In addition to investigating the specific allegations outlined against Schneiderman in the article, the Special Prosecutor shall investigate facts in the article suggesting that the Attorney General staff and office resources may have been used to facilitate alleged abusive liaisons referenced in the article."

Following Schneiderman’s resignation, New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood was named as the interim Attorney General.

“I am honored to serve the people of New York as acting Attorney General,” she said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

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