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Public Advocate Letitia James plans to enter race for attorney general

16 May 2018

Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood was the first candidate to go forward on Tuesday.

"G$3 iven the timing of Eric Schneiderman's resignation and the current state law prohibiting candidates from seeking two offices simultaneously, I have determined that I can not run for Attorney General at this time", she said.

The Cold Spring Democrat had been listed among 16 attorney-general prospects that a panel of state lawmakers was scheduled to interview in Albany on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the Legislature's selection of an interim appointment. "We want to interview her and every other person".

"For all of those who are calling on us to affirm (Underwood) without us being deliberative, I think it is unfortunate because that's like hiring someone based on their resume", Heastie told reporters Monday. Mike Gianaris and even former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

"I am not a politician", Underwood said.

"And I am not a politician", Underwood added.

"It's time to put people ahead of politics, and ultimately let the voters decide who their next attorney general will be", Flanagan said in a statement. "But I can assure you that's not who I am".

Underwood, who said she was stunned by the "deeply disturbing" accusations, said she views herself as a competent caretaker who will provide continuity in the attorney general's office.

NY Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood
View Slideshow NY Acting Attorney General Barbara Underwood Karen DeWitt

Members of the committee prodded Underwood with questions that underscored the advantage of her familiarity with the office from her decade as solicitor general.

"I'm not sleeping very much", she said with a laugh. "It would be a much quicker and easier transition for than for someone who needed to get up to speed on all of that".

Republicans who lead the state Senate favor Underwood, as does Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sean Patrick Maloneywere considered in the running to become New York Attorney General. "An Acting Attorney General not appointed by the legislature has no authority to take an official action such as seeking an indictment from a grand jury".

"As a New Yorker, I am grateful for Ms. Underwood's willingness to serve, and I urge the Legislature to designate her to fill the vacancy", Yassky wrote.

Just ask the other candidates for the job. One of these, Nicole Gueron, is a founding partner at Clarick Gueron Reisbaum LLP. O'Donnell of Manhattan, actress Rosie O'Donnell's brother, and Elizabeth Holtzman, a former congresswoman and New York City comptroller.

The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office has announced its own investigation based on the allegations said to have occurred there.

Public Advocate Letitia James plans to enter race for attorney general