TUG OF WAR & TENSION

May 11, 2018 at 4:45 am

Tension is brewing between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. over the investigation into the assault allegations against former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. We have the latest on this developing story.

Aired on May 10, 2018. 

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>>> GOVERNOR CUOMO HAS APPOINTED
A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO
INVESTIGATE THE ALLEGATIONS OF
NOW FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC
SCHNEIDERMAN.
NASSAU COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
MADELINE SINGAS WILL TAKE ON THE
RESPONSIBILITY.
HIS ABRUPT RESIGNATION AS FOUR
WOMEN ZAELT THEIR EXPERIENCES OF
FABZ TO THE NEW YORKER.
THE APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR DIDN'T SIT WELL WITH
CYRUS VANCE WHO DISAGREEWOOD THE
GOVERNOR'S SUGGESTION THAT HIS
OFFICE SHOULD BE REMOVED DUE TO
CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
THE CLFB OF INTEREST OF COURSE
REFERS TO THE FACT THAT
SCHNEIDERMAN AND HIS OFFICE HAD
BEEN INVESTIGATING VANCE'S
OFFICE FOR THEIR HANDLING OF
ALLEGED SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND
ASSAULT BY MOVIE MOGUL HARVEY
WEINSTEIN.
A COMPLEX SITUATION TO SAY THE
LEAST.
TO STRAIGHTEN IT OUT WE ARE
WELCOME BACK JENNIFER ROGERS WHO
HELPS US UNDERSTAND ALL THE
LEGAL ISSUES, THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR AT THE CENTER FOR THE
ADVANCEMENT OF PUBLIC INTEGRATE
AT COLUMNY LAW SCHOOL AND FORMER
PROSECUTOR.
IT SEEMS WE ALWAYS HAVE A LOT TO
TALK ABOUT.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE NOTION OF
CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
I'LL GET INTO THE SPECIFICS IN A
MINNESOTA.
PUT ON YOUR LAW SCHOOL PROFESSOR
HAT.
AND GIVE US A GENERAL
EXPLANATION OF WHAT WE MEAN WHEN
WE TALK ABOUT A CONFLICT OF
INTEREST IN TERMS OF LAWYER'S
ROLES IN A CASE.
>> A CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS
ANYTHING THAT STOPS SOMEONE FROM
BEING IMPARTIAL IN THE
INVESTIGATION IN PROSECUTION.
AND THEY TEND TO BREAK DOWN INTO
TWO CATEGORIES.
ONE IS FINANCIAL CONFLICTS OF
INTEREST.
LET'S SAY YOU'RE A STOCK HOLD
NER A CERTAIN COMPANY.
YOU OUGHT NOT INVESTIGATE THE
COMPANY OR THE CEO OF THE
COMPANY BECAUSE YOU HAVE A
FINANCIAL INTEREST IN THE
OUTCOME OF THAT PROSECUTION.
THE OTHER BUCKET IS KIND OF
PERSONAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.
YOU SHOULDN'T PROSECUTE YOUR
BROTHER-IN-LAW.
YOU SHOULDN'T PROSECUTE SOMEONE
WHO GOT IN A FIGHT WITH YOUR
BROTHER-IN-LAW.
ANYTHING THAT BRINGS UP MOTIVES
TO DECIDE THINGS ONE WAY OR THE
OTHER OUTSIDE OF THE REALM OF
THE CASE COULD BE A POTENTIAL
PERSONAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST.
>> LET'S LOOK AT THE SPECIFICS
OF THIS CASE.
THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID
ESSENTIALLY TO CYRUS VANCE, THE
MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S
OFFICE, WE DON'T THINK IT'S A
GOOD IDEA FOR YOU TO HANDLE THIS
BECAUSE OF THIS -- EITHER ACTUAL
OR PERCEIVED CONFLICT OF
INTEREST.
EXPLAIN -- I MS. MENTIONED
HARVEY WEINSTEIN.
EXPLAIN WHAT THE GOVERNMENT WAS
TALKING ABOUT THERE.
>> SO A FEW MONTHS AGO THE
GOVERNOR SAID THAT THE ATTORNEY
GENERAL'S OFFICE SHOULD
INVESTIGATE THE D.A.'S DECISION
IN THE HARVEY WEINSTEIN CASE
BACK IN 2015 THERE WAS AN
ALLEGATION OF SEXUAL ASSAULT
AGAINST HARVEY WEINSTEIN.
THE DACHEL D.A.'S OFFICE LOOKED
AT IT DECIDED NOT TO PROSECUTE.
THAT'S THE DECISION THE GOVERNOR
SAID THEY WANT TO TAKE ANOTHER
LOOK AT AND MAKE SURE THAT THAT
DECISION WASN'T TAINTED BY
CAMPAIGN DONATIONS MADE BY
HARVEY WEINSTEIN'S LAWYER TO CY
VANCE.
THAT WAS A FEW MONTHS AGO.
CRITICALLY TO ME THAT
INVESTIGATION HADN'T STARTED
YET.
SCHNEIDERMAN'S OFFICE JUST GOT
THE FORMAL REFERRAL A FEW DAYS
AGO AND HADN'T STARTED THE
INVESTIGATION INTO THE D.A.'S
DECISION.
>> THE D.A., CYRUS VANCE SAYS
THERE IS NO CONFLICT OF INTEREST
BECAUSE ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN IS NO
LONGER THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
AND HE SAYS AS A CONSEQUENCE MY
OFFICE IS PERFECTLY CAPABLE OF
HANDLING THIS.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT
ARGUMENT?
WHAT'S THE STRENGTH OF IT, THE
WEAKNESS OF IT.
>> I ACTUALLY THINK THAT ETHICS
PROFESSIONALS WOULD BELIEVE THAT
THERE IS NO ACTUAL CONFLICT HERE
FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS.
ONE THE INVESTIGATION THAT CY
VANCE WOULD DO THAT AND THAT
MADELINE IS GOING TO DO IS AN
INVESTIGATION INTO THE PERSONAL
CONDUCT OF ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN AND
HE IS GONE.
>> NOT HIS OFFICE.
>> CORRECT ALTHOUGH A PIECE OF
IT WAS WHETHER OR NOT HE
UTILIZED THE RESOURCES OF THE
OFFICE AS PART OF THIS.
BUT ALSO THE INVESTIGATION
HADN'T STARTED YET AS I SAID.
SO THERE REALLY IS NO CONFLICT.
IT'S NOT THAT HE IS
INVESTIGATING SOMEONE WHO IS
INVESTIGATING HIM.
SO I DON'T THINK THERE IS AN
ACTUAL CONFLICT.
BUT THAT LEAVES THE QUESTION OF
WHETHER IT'S JUST CLEANER AS A
PERCEIVED CONFLICT MATTER TO
HAVE SOMEONE ELSE DO THE WHOLE
THING.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.
BECAUSE AS YOU KNOW IN THE REALM
OF ESPECIALLY LAWYERS AND
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AND
EXPANDING INTO POLITICKING
FIGURES AND CONFLICT OF
INTEREST.
WE TALKED ABOUT ACTUAL CONFLICT
WHICH MENTIONED BUT WE ALSO TALK
ABOUT THE APPEARANCE OR THE
IMPRESSION OF A CONFLICT OF
INTEREST.
APPLY THOSE NOTIONS TO THIS
SITUATION AND D.A. VANCE.
>> THAT'S WHERE IT GETS FUZZY
AND YOU CAN'T SAY THAT KICKING
THE CASE TO SINGAS IS WRONG.
BECAUSE WHAT DOES THE PUBLIC
THINK EVEN THOUGH THERE IS NO
CONFLICT.
>> I GIVE CY VANCE FOR TRYING TO
DEFEND HIS INDEPENDENCE.
UMPING HE IS RIGHT THERE IS NO
ACTUAL CONFLICT AND HIS OFFICE
COULD DO THE INVESTIGATION WELL
AND THERE WOULD BE NO REAL
PROBLEM.
AT THE SAME TIME I ALSO SEE THE
GOVERNOR'S POINT OF LOOK LET'S
MOVE IT SOMEWHERE ELSE SO THERE
IS NO ISSUE.
>> AND THE NOTION OF MAKING IT
CLEANER AND MAKING THE -- EVEN
THE APPEARANCE DISAPPEAR MAKES A
LOT OF SENSE.
BUT MY GUESS IS YOU YOU WERE A
PROSECUTOR I WAS A EI WAS A
PROSECUTOR.
IF YOU ARE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
CYRUS VANCE YOU ARE SAYING --
YOU'RE TAKING A SHOT AT MY
INTEGRITY HERE.
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT
APPEARANCES AND CONFLICT OF
INTEREST.
BUT THIS IS ESSENTIALLY SAYING
EVEN NOT SAY GOING IN SO
MANIWARDS WE DON'T TRUST YOU TO
BE ABLE TO DO THAT.
I WOULD SUSPECT THAT'S A
COMPELLING FEELING FOR A
DISTRICT ATTORNEY TO HAVE TO
STRUGGLE WITH.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK HE IS WARRANTED IN
PUSHING BACK AND SAYING I'M
INDENT, I HAVE INTEGRITY AND
THERE IS NO GET THIS WOULD BE
DONE THE RIGHT WHICH.
HE WAS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL.
HE WAS ELECTED BY THE PEOPLE IN
MANHATTAN TO PROSECUTOR CASES
ARISING IN MANHATTAN.
HE IS RIGHT TO PUSH BACK AND
DEFEND HIS OFFICE AND HIS
SWEATING.
I BELIEVE HE WOULD HAVE DONE IT
WELL.
I JUST THINK IT'S GONE NOW.
AND I DO THINK THE D.A.SINGHAS
WILL DO A GOOD JOB AND WE'LL
HAVE TO SEE HOW IT PLAYS OUT.
>> JFRP IT'S ALWAYS A PLEASURE
TO CHAT.
WE'LL LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING
WITH YOU AGAIN.
YOU BE WELL.
>> THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

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