There is something very wrong in the office of the NY State Attorney General-and no we don't mean staff prosecutors offering their services as whipping girls. No it's even more serious than that, with the truth and the protection of state tax payers taking the real life beating because of the AG's lackadaisical approach to investigating wrongdoing.
The Wall Street Journal story from last week only touched the surface of this outrageous nonfeasance. Something is not quite right with the state's chief law enforcement office and if it doesn't come down hard and soon on the illegality of Claire Shulman's LDC then we will know that when it comes to tackling the real powers that be there is a double standard at play.
Here's what the WSJ missed when it said that, "But the two agencies failed to get any confirmation about the existence of the attorney general's probe." What was missing was that the person who corresponded with DOS and OSC pointedly told the sister agencies that she couldn't determine the existence of an investigation-it's right there in black and white email format.
But what's really snarly is that the WSJ and Crain's could get the AG to publicly state that there was an investigation, "ongoing," but the two state agencies were unable to confirm its existence. Now how hard was that? Can you say the fix is in? Keep in mind that because of these shenanigans the state issued a $1.5 million grant to a not for profit masquerading as a charity. Is there still a charities bureau at the AG's office? If so, they might consider disbanding it for all of the good it's doing here.
What really gets us at WPU-after all, we are the aggrieved party threatened with the loss of our constitutional guaranteed right to property-is that the AG's office refused to answer a voice mail from the Department of State. As WPU points out in its press brief:
"First, DOS email obtained by WPU indicates that during two months when DOS left telephone messages for OAG in attempts to ascertain the status of OAG'S investigation of Shulman's LDC, OAG did not return those calls. DOS attorney David Treacy informed other DOS personnel via email on March 11, 2011 at 4:01PM (referring to Lauren Kittelsen, Esq., Assistant Attorney General at the Charities Bureau):
_I left messages for Ms. Kittelsen [sic] on her direct line and at the Charities Bureau main number in NYC last month and this month, and still have not heard back_."
And this is not enough to generate any one's sense of outrage? Nah, not when it's only property rights that are threatened. The right to property is being marked down by elected officials who believe-just like Elizabeth Warren-that the government has all the rights and only leases certain ones back to the individual as it sees fit.
Meanwhile, at about the same time that Kittilsen could find no information on the matter in the AG's Office, representatives of WPU met with OAG staff responsible for the investigation. Contrary to Ms. Kittilsen's claims, it is not true that The only person still employed by the AG's Office who may have knowledge of the 2009 inquiry of the LDC's lobbying activities is out on medical leave, and it is not true that "...[e]veryone else who may have been involved with the matter, or may have known the status or final resolution of the matter, apparently has since left the AG's Office."
Moreover, an investigation of the type that WPU understands OAG is conducting pertaining to Shulman's LDC would necessarily generate voluminous records, which would need to be duly filed and maintained by OAG. Given the likely existence of such records, some of which would establish the status of the investigation, we find it incredible that Ms. Kittilsen apparently did not, or could not, locate those records and thereby provide appropriately reliable information to DOS regarding the status of OAG's investigation.
We could go on but why keep banging our heads. Either the AG will put up on this investigation or it won't. But is there anyone who seriously believes that this office is capable of a serious chastisement of the dowager Shulman?