Eric T. Schneiderman was elected the 65th Attorney General of New York State on November 2, 2010. As Attorney General, Schneiderman is the highest ranking law enforcement officer for the State, responsible for representing New York and its residents in legal matters. Schneiderman has worked to restore the public’s faith in its public and private sector institutions, by focusing on areas including public integrity, economic justice, social justice and environmental protection.
In his first weeks in office, Attorney General Schneiderman launched an aggressive plan to root out fraud and return money illegally stolen from New York taxpayers at no additional cost to the state. This initiative includes a new “Taxpayer Protection Unit” specifically designed to go after corruption in state contracts, pension fund rip-offs, and large-scale tax cheats. Schneiderman has also bolstered the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has already recovered millions of dollars to taxpayers under his watch by cracking down on fraud in the Medicaid program.
In addition, Schneiderman has repeatedly stood up to powerful interests on behalf of New Yorkers. In his first few months in office, the Attorney General has taken a leading role in the national fight for a fair mortgage settlement for homeowners that holds banks accountable for their role in the foreclosure crisis; initiated several investigations into government corruption and misuse of public funds; launched a thorough review of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile for potential anti-competitive impacts on consumers and businesses statewide; and challenged the Indian Point nuclear power plant’s practices related to high-level radioactive waste storage, earthquake preparedness and fire safety, among his many early acts. Attorney General Schneiderman has also kept our streets safe by shutting down the largest heroin operation in Buffalo history – a statewide drug trafficking pipeline from New York City to Western New York.
As the state’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Schneiderman brings with him a wealth of experience, in both the public and private sectors. Before becoming Attorney General, Schneiderman served in the New York State Senate as a leading reformer, and was praised by numerous editorial pages and good government organizations as a rare leader in Albany who stood up to leaders of both parties to reform government and get results for New Yorkers. Among his many legislative accomplishments, Schneiderman passed the most sweeping ethics reforms in a generation, chaired the committee to expel a corrupt senator for the first time in modern history, and passed the toughest law in the nation to root out fraud against taxpayers.
The Attorney General previously spent 15 years in private practice as an attorney, and later as a partner at the firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart, where he handled complex litigation. He was also a public interest lawyer for many years, representing taxpayers in historic lawsuits against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, and women seeking access to health clinics.
Attorney General Schneiderman graduated from Amherst College in 1977 and Harvard Law School in 1982. He is the proud father of a daughter, Catherine.