FILE - In this March 21, 2016, file photo, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks during a news conference in New York.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Manhattan DA Accuses Gov. Cuomo Of Playing Politics With Schneiderman Investigation

May 09, 2018 - 1:23 pm
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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate allegations of abuse by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Cuomo late Tuesday said Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas will investigate and possibly prosecute "any and all matters concerning the public allegations" against Schneiderman.

Cuomo says Singas also will probe whether Schneiderman used his staff or office resources to facilitate the alleged abusive liaisons.

Four women accused the Democrat of physical violence in a New Yorker article.

After reading the article, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said he would launch a criminal investigation, but Cuomo decided he wasn't the right guy for the job.

Vance said Cuomo's decision to exclude him from the process was politically motivated. Schneiderman had been investigating Vance's office for its handling of the Harvey Weinstein matter.

"Charging and jurisdictional decision making should be left to independent prosecutors who are answerable to their local constituents. Interference with law enforcement investigations by an elected chief executive should always be viewed with great care, especially these days, given the propensity of our elected executive at the federal level in Washington to make statements and take actions that jeopardize the independence of our criminal justice system,” Vance said in the letter.

Cuomo said having Vance investigate Schneiderman would be a conflict, and wanted to avoid any appearance of collusion or conflict.

"I want the victims in this case to know that they are getting a full, fair, objective look at the facts," he said.

Cuomo said the search for Schneiderman's replacement should not be rushed.

"I would recommend deliberate process, an open process," he said.

Schneiderman, who has resigned, has implied his conduct was either welcomed by the women, or was not as they described.