Eric Schneiderman is one tough dude. After meekly signing off on the Assembly's behind closed doors settlement of sexual harassment charges against Vito Lopez, he has now come out swinging-reminding Speaker Silver that anyone can be expelled for any reason if all the kangaroos agree. As the Daily News reports:
"State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says the Assembly has the power under state law to boot Assemblyman Vito Lopez over allegations of sexual harassment.
“If the Assembly wanted to, they can convene a committee,” Schneiderman told the Daily News, explaining the removal process. “The only requirement is that there is an investigation by a committee that issues a report to the full house.” A vote is then held."
This is the same guy who has allowed NYC EDC to craft a successful illegal lobbying scheme to take away property from small business owners without even a mild slap on the wrist. At the time he claimed that he couldn';t find a tougher penalty under the law-apparently forgetting fraud and conspiracy, as well as his abilty to shut a charity down that engages in an illegal scheme.
Schneiderman also ignored the fact that the Shulman not for profit had falsely claimed in its IRS filing that it wouldn't do any lobbying (the purpose for which it was formed)-a demonstration of just how this group wasn't even close to fulfilling any legitimate charitable function. (Except for the owners of the Mets!)
Now, however, the AG is heavily into creative law enforcement:
"There is recent precedent. When Schneiderman was a state senator in 2010, he headed a committee that recommended the expulsion of then-Sen. Hiram Monserrate...“You do not need to have a criminal conviction for an expulsion,” Schneiderman said. “That was not the basis for our expulsion of Monserrate.”
There is one reason why the AG has kicked this into high gear-his own continued malfesance. The NY Times has the money quote:
"The offices of the attorney general and the comptroller received three draft copies of the settlements, but did not intervene to prevent the Assembly from using public money for the confidential settlement of sexual misconduct allegations against a powerful lawmaker."
High principles of justice? Nah, that's not what's happening. It's a combination of butt-covering and selective outrage that motivates this corrupt system-the interest of justice is secondary, if at all.
So this is how justice is done in New York State-selective and determnined by the nature of the hue and cry from the politically correct gaggle of activists. With Monserrate there was at least a conviction for something but now it seems inevitably that Lopez will take the fall-if not just for covering up the embarassing sign-off that the AG's office wants us all to forget.
If only WPU's Irene Prestigiacamo and Janice Serrone had been sexually harrassed by Fred Wilpon. That might have triggered some justice for the Willets Point property owners. Clearly the theft of their property doesn't rise to the level of an offense that Eric Schneiderman finds actionable-and that tells us a great deal about him and his office.