Singas Declines To Prosecute Ex-NY AG Schneiderman

New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman
Ex-New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas is declining to prosecutor former New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for allegations of domestic abuse that led to his resignation in May, her office announced Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had appointed Singas the special prosecutor tasked with investigating domestic and sexual abuse allegations against Schneiderman. Suffolk Count District Attorney Timothy Sini’s office is investigating one of the alleged incidents that occurred in the Hamptons, although the status of that probe was not immediately clear.

“Following an exhaustive review, evaluation of the facts, the law, and applicable statutes of limitations, I have concluded our investigation into the allegations of physical abuse allegedly committed by … Schneiderman without criminal charges,” Singas said in a statement. “I believe the women who shared their experiences with our investigation team, however legal impediments, including statutes of limitations, preclude criminal prosecution.”

Schneiderman announced his resignation three hours after a bombshell report in The New Yorker magazine detailing similar claims from four women recounting physical abuse by the AG. The story described two of Schneiderman’s ex-girlfriends claims that the AG — who held himself out as an advocate for women’s rights in the wake of the #MeToo movement — allegedly slapped, choked and emotionally abused them without consent.

A high-profile attorney who remained anonymous was quoted in the magazine as detailing a sexually aggressive encounter with Schneiderman that left her frightened following a party in the Hamptons in the summer of 2016.

After his resignation, State Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood was appointed Acting New York State Attorney General, making her the first woman to hold the title. Democrat Letitia James, who was elected to be the next Attorney General on Tuesday, will be the first African-American woman to hold the post when she takes office in January.

Singas said that she “personally interviewed each of the women who cooperated with our investigation along with their attorneys” as well as members of Schneiderman’s security detail, employees, and a potential witnesses. Although she declined to press charges against Schneiderman, she did recommend legislation to correct what she called “deficiencies in New York law.”