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Eric Schneiderman

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Eric Schneiderman
Eric Schneiderman.jpg
Attorney General of New York
In office
Term ends
Years in position 5
PredecessorAndrew Cuomo (D)
Base salary$151,500
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Campaign $$12,252,910
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
New York State Senate District 31
New York State Senate District 30
Bachelor'sAmherst College (1977)
J.D.Harvard School of Law (1982)
Office website
Eric T. Schneiderman (born December 31, 1954 in New York City, New York) is the current Democratic Attorney General of New York. Prior to this, he served as a member of the State Senate, representing the people of the 31st senate district from 2003 until 2010.

An April 2013 list of the 100 most powerful players in Albany by the newspaper City and State ranked Schneiderman as number 11.[1]


Shortly after Schneiderman received his bachelor's degree from Amherst College in 1977 he was named as Deputy Sheriff for Berkshire County, a position he maintained for two years. Upon graduating from Harvard law school, he was brought aboard as a law clerk for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York until 1984 when he became partner for Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, LLP. Three years later, he served as a statesman for Assembly Speaker Mel Miller. From 1993 until 1999, Schneiderman was elected to be district leader for the sixty-seventh assembly district.


  • Bachelor's degree (in English/Asian studies), Amherst College (1977)
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Harvard School of Law (1982)

Political Career

Attorney General of New York (2010-present)

On Monday, April 12th, 2010, Schneiderman announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, the seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo, who, rather then seek re-election, chose to run for the state's governorship. [2] Five months later, Schneiderman fought off four other contenders to secure the party nomination and received slightly over thirty-four percent of the vote. Schneiderman would go on to win the state governmental position in the general election on Tuesday, November 2nd against Republican State Island District Attorney Dan Donovan. [3]

Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act

On March 11, 2013, Schneiderman, together with twelve other state attorneys general, sent a letter to Congress in support of the Protecting Financial Aid for Students and Taxpayers Act, a bill which would ban for-profit colleges from using federal funds for marketing and recruiting techniques.[4] Sponsored by Senators Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the chamber's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, the law aims to “ensure that scarce federal education dollars will be used to serve and educate students rather than to finance advertising campaigns, recruitment operations, and aggressive marketing.”[5] Consumer protection is one of the key duties assigned to the attorney general in each state.

According to the law's text, student enrollment at for-profit degree-issuing institutions such as the University of Phoenix more than doubled between 1998-2008, during which time the federal government--through student financial assistance programs--provided 86 percent of revenues to 15 reviewed publicly traded companies operating these for-profit colleges. A separate analysis of 15 such companies concluded that, on average, 28 percent of all expenditures were on advertising, marketing, and recruiting. Critics, including the attorneys general responsible for the letter advocating the bill's passage, contend that these expenditures are used to deceive consumers about program costs, graduation rates, or their employment potential beyond graduation. The bill seeks to restrict spending of this nature by higher education institutions or other postsecondary educational institution by prohibiting use of federal loans or grants in specific areas, and requiring that all such institutions whose revenues can be traced to federal educational assistance funds "report annually to the Secretary and to Congress the institution's expenditures on advertising, marketing, and recruiting."[4]

In the letter, the attorneys general urged, “Federal taxpayers should not be asked to foot the bill for aggressive recruiting and deceptive sales tactics of colleges that have placed profits ahead of ensuring student success.”[6] There are an estimated 3,000 for-profit schools nationwide, though neither the letter nor the bill cited the name of a specific institution.[7]

Ponzi scheme settlement

In June 2012, Schneiderman announced that New York attorney general's office finalized a $410 million civil settlement with hedge-fund manager J. Ezra Merkin, whose collaboration with Bernard Madoff in his perpetration of one of history's most devastating Ponzi schemes led to almost $2 billion in losses for New York investors and charitable organizations. Schneiderman called the settlement, which stood to reimburse up to 40% of losses for eligible investors, "a victory for justice and accountability.”.[8] According to the attorney general, Merkin falsified quarterly reports and other financial documents[9] in order to deceive hundreds of investors into believing their money was safe in his control. In actuality, Merkin was rerouting clients' fortunes to Madoff, working primarily as his "middleman and marketer,"[8] and making hundreds of millions of dollars in management and incentive fees in the process. Two years prior to the settlement, the New York attorney general's office first brought charges against Merkin for violations of the Martin Act, "General Business Law § 352; and Executive Law § 63(12) for concealing Madoff’s control of the Merkin Funds and for breaches of his fiduciary duty to manage the funds prudently. The lawsuit sought damages, disgorgement of all fees by Merkin, and injunctive relief."[8]

Settlement negotiations concluded on Friday, June 22, 2012, with Merkin agreeing to pay $405 million over three years to compensate his investors, and an additional $5 million to the New York for general expenses incurred as a result of the investigation.[10]

New York State Senate (2003-2010)

Committee assignments

Senator Schneiderman served on the following legislative committees during his tenure:


Hit-and-Run allegation

On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, Schneiderman was accused of being involved in a hit-and-run car accident located in Manhattan. The Democratic state senator "was in a car driven by a staff member (Rachel Kagan, niece of United States Supreme Court nominee, Elena Kagan) when it hit a parked car Monday night and drove away," but not before an eyewitness recorded the license plate number of the vehicle. [12] The automobile, owned by an executive editor for NY1, a twenty-four hour cable-news television channel focusing on the five boroughs of New York City, sustained about $3,000 worth of damage in the fender bender. A spokesman for the state senator called the allegation of a hit-and-ran "outrageous" and said that Schneiderman "expressed his sincere apology, and offered to pay for all repairs." [13]


Despite having a perfect attendance record in 2009, Schneiderman finished the next year's session with the second worst record in the state senate after missing six out of the eighty days the upper house was convened. His absence had a direct effect on at least two pieces of legislation - the first was on May 28 when his late arrival "delayed action on a measure needed to restore funding to state parks slated for closure" while the other on June 18 contributed "o the delay of a key budget vote." [14]



See also: New York attorney general election, 2014

Schneiderman is eligible to run for re-election as New York Attorney General in 2014. He has not yet made his intentions in the race known.


See also: New York Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - Democratic Primary [15]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Eric Schneiderman 34.4%
     Democratic Party Kathleen M. Rice 31.9%
     Democratic Party Sean Coffey 16.4%
     Democratic Party Richard Brodsky 9.9%
     Democratic Party Eric Dinallo 7.4%
Total Votes 661,296
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election [16]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Eric Schneiderman 54.9%
     Republican Party Dan Donovan 43.7%
     Libertarian Party Carl E. Person 0.9%
     Independent Ramon Jimenez 0.5%
Total Votes 4,019,956


  • Eric Schneiderman ran unopposed in this contest
2008 Race for State Senate, District 31 - General Election [17]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Eric Schneiderman 90.0%
     Republican Party Martin Chicon 9.3%
     Conservative Party Stephen Bradian 0.7%
Total Votes 89,843

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Schneiderman is available dating back to 1998. Based on available campaign finance records, Schneiderman raised a total of $12,252,910 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 21, 2013.[18]

Eric Schneiderman's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 NY Attorney General Not up for election $2,535,599
2010 NY Attorney General Won $7,829,657
2008 NY State Senate Won $253,940
2006 NY State Senate Won $426,512
2004 NY State Senate Won $363,218
2002 NY State Senate Won $619,344
2000 NY State Senate Won $116,240
1998 NY State Senate Won $108,400
Grand Total Raised $12,252,910


Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Eric Schneiderman's donors each year.[19] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

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Schneiderman currently resides in New York City, New York. He is divorced and has a daughter, Catherine, from that relationship. The attorney general attends B’nai Jeshuran Synagogue and practices yoga regularly.[20]

Contact Information

Capitol Address:
New York

Office of Attorney General
State Office Building
44 Hawley Street, 17th Floor
Binghamton, NY 13901-4433

Phone: (607) 721-8771
Toll Free Phone: (800) 788-9898
Fax: (607) 721-8789

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. City and State, "Albany Power 100 List," April 23, 2013
  2. New York Post "NY state Sen. Eric Schneiderman running for Attorney General" 12 April, 2010
  3. Wall Street Journal "‘Sheriff’ Schneiderman Wins Attorney General Race" 3 Nov. 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Library of Congress, "Bill Text 113th Congress (2013-2014) S.528.IS," March 12, 2013
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named agsletter
  6. The Boston Globe, "Attorney generals to Congress: Don’t let for-profit colleges use federal grants and loans for advertising," March 17, 2013
  7. Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, "Letter to Congress," March 11, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Scarsdale Patch, "NY State gets $410 million in Madoff Ponzi scheme," June 25, 2012
  9. Associated Press, "Hedge fund manager to pay $405M to Madoff victims," June 24, 2012
  10. The New York Times, "Hedge Fund Manager Merkin to pay $405 million in Madoff settment," June 24, 2012
  11. New York State Senate - List of Standing Committees
  12. The Huffington Post "Eric Schneiderman, NY State Senator, Involved In Alleged Hit-And-Run" 14 July, 2010
  13. Politics on the Hudson "Eric Schneiderman and the fender bender" 14 July, 2010
  14. New York Post "AG wannabes are 'hooky' monsters" 19 July, 2010
  15. New York State Board of Elections - 2010 Primary Election Results
  16. New York Times "2010 General Election Results" 2 Nov. 2010
  17. New York State Board of Elections - 2008 State Senate General Election Results
  18. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Eric Schneiderman," accessed May 21, 2013
  19. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  20. The New York Daily News, "State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman loves yoga so much that he talks about it at work," April 18, 2012

Political offices
Preceded by
Franz Leichter
New York Senate - District 30
Succeeded by
David Paterson
Preceded by
Efrain Gonzalez
New York Senate - District 31
Succeeded by
Adriano Espaillat
Preceded by
Andrew Cuomo (D)
New York Attorney General
Succeeded by