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Relevant NYS Constitutional & Statutory Provisions

NYS Constitution: 
Article I (§6); Article V (
§1, §4); Article XIV (§5); Article XIX (§1)

Executive Law §63, §65, §71
State Finance Law, Article 7-A  (citizen-taxpayer action)

Public Officers Law §17
Public Officers Law §72

& in the absence of scholarship, some informal analysis


Attorney General's website

Attorney General's Public Integrity Bureau
"...The Attorney General has made cracking down on corruption and restoring the public’s trust in government a top priority for the Office. In 2011, the Attorney General launched a groundbreaking initiative expanding his office’s authority to investigate public corruption involving taxpayer funds by partnering with the state Comptroller. In addition, the Attorney General designated public integrity officers in every region of the state to give New Yorkers a place to go to report complaints of government corruption without the fear of local politics influencing the outcome."

Attorney General Appeals & Opinion Division


October 25, 2018
"NY AG Candidate Questionnaire: Letitia James, Democrat, New York City Public Advocate"
New York Law Journal  (Dan Clark)

How would you organize and staff the office and secure proper resources and authority to reflect your priorities?

Should the powers of the Attorney General’s Office be expanded? Are there any areas where the tools afforded by the Legislature to the AG are too limited?

Yes, without a doubt. First and foremost, the attorney general needs original jurisdiction to prosecute public corruption, without a referral from the governor, the comptroller, or an agency head. ...

Are there any bureaus of the Attorney General’s Office that you think are currently underutilized?

...doubling down on rooting out public corruption in Albany...

We will both boost the resources dedicated to the “Operation Integrity” anti-corruption task force with the Comptroller’s Office and explore new ways to use existing powers under Executive Law 63(12), the False Claims Act, and the attorney general’s broad oversight of nonprofits to take on legislators, businesses, and charities involved in self-dealing. ...

What is the proper scope of the attorney general’s power to punish and deter public officials’ misconduct?

Does the office need broader grants of authority to stamp out corrupt practices in Albany?

Yes. Unequivocally. When I am in office, I will push the Legislature to give the attorney general original jurisdiction over public corruption—but I won’t wait for them to act. I will explore creative ways to use existing powers to tackle corruption, including beefing up the “Operation Integrity” anti-corruption task force with the Comptroller’s Office and using Executive Law 63(12), the False Claims Act, and the attorney general’s oversight of nonprofits."



May 18, 2017
"The Evolving Powers of the New York State Attorney General"
Gotham Gazette (Ben Brachfeld)

August 30, 2018
"'Taking on Trump' isn't the job of an attorney general"
New York Post (Seth Barron)

August 30, 2018
"The Evolution of New York's AG"
Albany Times Union-Capitol Confidential podcast

September 1, 2018
"New York's AG takes on expanded role"
Albany Times Union (David Lombardo)


May 21, 2018
"Sorry spectacle at the Met is a propos of new fee policy"
Crain's Business (Sean Roman Strockyj)
"Unfortunately, legal efforts to enforce the 1893 law have failed. Justice Shirley Kornreich, of New York's Commercial Division, decided in 2013 that while the “Free Access” law remains valid, only the attorney general (as opposed to a disgruntled patron) can enforce the law. With an absence of action from the AG, the Met has now overreached and imposed mandatory fees all days of the week on out-of-towners."



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CJA's August 5, 2013 letter to the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption --
"RE: Keeping the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption True to its Name & Announced Purpose"  (See pages 6-8)                                          [webpage for letter]

"...concealing that New York’s Attorney General has always had the power and duty to safeguard against public corruption was part of the run-up to the creation of this Commission.  For instance, this April 18, 2013 news report:

'Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he’d love to have more authority to pursue public corruption cases, which even in the face of recent scandals, no one is pushing to give him.

‘The debate is on now for the next round of reform, and you have to understand that one aspect of that is strengthening our ability to fight corruption, strengthening the ability of prosecutors like my office….’, Schneiderman, a Democrat, told Susan Arbetter on ‘The Capitol Pressroom.’'[fn] 

It appears that the Commission is also concealing the Attorney General’s powers and duties by its website and letterhead, wherein it calls itself 'Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption'.  This is not the Commission’s name.  The Governor’s Executive Order #106 creating the Commission could not be clearer in announcing that the Commission is 'to be known as the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption' (at ¶I).  This is understandable as the Commission’s sweeping power to investigate public corruption in all three government branches actually comes not from the Moreland Act (Executive Law §6), but Executive Law §63 pertaining to the 'General duties' of the Attorney General [fn]. Tellingly, the Commission’s website neither posts Executive Order #106, nor Executive Law §6, nor Executive Law §63.

Clear from Executive Law §63 is that the Attorney General is an essential safeguard to ensuring governmental integrity in this state.  Is that essential safeguard functioning?  Such must top the Commission’s investigative agenda.

Examining how Attorney General Schneiderman and prior Attorneys General ACTUALLY discharge their powers and duties under Executive Law §63 was the subject of a proposal for scholarship embodied in a November 5, 2012 letter that I personally delivered to Professor Briffault on that date at his comfortable office at Columbia University Law School and which he personally received from me, in hand.    It identified that CJA, et al. v. Cuomo, et al.  was the perfect case for such scholarship, that it arose “from the official misconduct of a succession of New York State Attorneys General – the most recent being State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a named defendant. (at p. 1); and that it is 'a powerful case study for explicating and resolving critical issues at the core of the state attorney general’s function' (at p. 3).  The letter stated:

'CJA v. Cuomo is illustrative of what happens time, after time, after time, at the New York State Attorney General’s office.  Citizens turn to the Attorney General with evidence of unlawful, if not unconstitutional, state government action, which he ignores.  This then burdens the citizens with taking legal action as ‘private attorneys general’, suing the state and/or its culpable officials and agencies – at which point the Attorney General defends the state, etc. by dismissal motions, including dismissal motions that are frauds on the court, being based on knowing falsification and material omission of fact and law, thereupon granted by a biased and/or self-interested judiciary.  In such fashion, our state’s highest law enforcement officer functions not as a safeguard of government integrity and constitutional governance, as he was intended to be – but as a perpetuator of governmental corruption and abuse,…

[Here demonstrated is how the Attorney General’s] misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance have facilitated an ongoing parade of horribles: (1) the brazen theft of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in fraudulent judicial pay raises this year and over the next two years, in perpetuity: (2) an unconstitutional court-controlled attorney disciplinary law, utilized to retaliate against judicial whistle-blowing attorneys; (3) a corrupt Commission on Judicial Conduct, dumping the very complaints the law requires it to investigate; (4) violative and unconstitutional state judicial selection processes, including to the Court of Appeals; (5) obliteration of state remedies against official misconduct provided by Article 78 and motions for judicial disqualification and disclosure.  All are chronicled, with substantiating documentary proof, by the CJA v. Cuomo lawsuit record.'  (at pp. 4-5, underlining in the original).

Our follow-up January 24, 2013 letter further reinforced this scholarship proposal and identified that CJA v. Cuomo establishes the necessity of crafting legislation to not only rectify the perversions wrought in Executive Law §63, but for developing 'a powerful qui tam statute to protect the People from the Attorney General’s derelictions and misfeasance' (at p. 6)."

      See CJA's referred-to:

   November 5, 2012 letter-proposal -- "RE:   (1) Building Scholarship:  Assessing the Performance of State Attorneys General in Ensuring Government Integrity & Constitutional Governance – Beginning with the New York State Attorney General and the case Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc., et al. v. Cuomo, et al. (NY Co. #401988/2012)..."

     January 24, 2013 letter --  "RE:  FUNDAMENTAL STANDARDS OF SCHOLARSHIP, ACADEMIC & ATTORNEY RESPONSIBILITY & DUE PROCESS:  Your Response to CJA's November 5, 2012 Letter "

Also see:  July 9, 2012 letter-proposal -- "RE:  building scholarship on court determination of constitutional questions"


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