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About the Attorney General

Eric T. Schneiderman
New York State Attorney General
Eric T. Schneiderman

Eric T. Schneiderman was elected the 65th Attorney General of New York State on November 2, 2010. As the highest ranking law enforcement officer for the State, Eric has taken on the tough fights to protect New Yorkers – because he believes there has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful.

Eric has locked up corrupt politicians, prosecuted companies that ripped off New Yorkers, and stood up for the students of a phony for-profit college named Trump University – getting Donald Trump to reverse course and pay back $25 million to the people he defrauded. 

When Eric first took office in 2010, the federal government was about to give the big banks who caused the financial crisis a sweetheart deal to settle billions of dollars in lawsuits. But Eric stepped up, broke up the deal, and demanded a full investigation with stiffer penalties. As a result, Eric won the biggest financial penalties in history and ensured that hundreds of millions of dollars went back to New Yorkers. He created the Homeownership Protection Program to help New Yorkers at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes, a program that has served nearly 74,000 homeowners across the state. He secured funding that helped create or preserve more than 4000 affordable apartments for low and moderate income New Yorkers; directed $22.5 million in mortgage assistance loans to homeowners; and funded land banks across New York State that have helped communities reclaim nearly 2,500 abandoned properties, building a safer environment for New York families.

When corporations tried to skirt our laws, Eric held them to account. He led the multistate corruption investigation into Volkswagen for their auto-emissions cheating scandal, and in the process, won New York’s biggest environmental penalty ever, securing $32.5 million for New Yorkers. Along the way, he also won the right for victims to be compensated for a minimum of $5,100, on top of the value of their vehicle. Earlier this year, Eric filed a major consumer fraud lawsuit on behalf of all Spectrum-Time Warner Cable subscribers, after a year-long investigation by his office found the company had been lying to consumers about internet speeds and reliability. Eric has also led the fight to protect New Yorker’s privacy online, uncovering the use of illegal tracking technology on some of the country’s most popular kids’ websites, and reaching settlements that protect our children from the prying eyes of advertisers. 

Eric has fought for justice for all workers, defending their right to a fair and decent wage for a full day’s work. Since 2011, Eric has successfully secured nearly $30 million in restitution for more than 21,000 workers across New York. And in a series of groundbreaking settlements, he ended the use of on-call scheduling at major national retailers.

While taking down drug trafficking rings that pump illegal drugs into our neighborhoods, bringing over 800 accused drug and gun dealers to justice through his Organized Crime Task Force, Eric created the Community Overdose Prevention program. This $5 million commitment helped equip law enforcement agencies with naloxone, a life-saving antidote that can immediately stop a heroin overdose. After the federal government cut funding for bulletproof vests for New York's police officers, Eric used funds he recovered from drug traffickers to pay for the equipment for local police departments.

And where Washington D.C. has failed to lead on the issues that matter, Eric has made clear that New York will provide a roadmap for the rest of the country. 

Since November of 2016, Eric has led the fight to protect New Yorkers from the most harmful policies of the Trump Administration. He successfully sued, along with other state attorneys general, to block the President’s unconstitutional and un-American Muslim Ban. He leads a coalition defending the Clean Power Plan, our country’s historic effort to limit carbon pollution from power plants. He’s taking the Trump Administration to court over its illegal delay of cost-saving, pollution-cutting energy efficiency standards. He’s defending the right of sanctuary cities including Rochester, New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Kingston, and Ithaca to determine their own law enforcement priorities and resist Trump’s radical deportation agenda. And he’s worked with law enforcement and school administrators on guidance making clear that discrimination and hate have no place in New York.  

Exercising his power to introduce legislation, Eric put forth progressive bills to tackle some of our most important challenges. On the eve of President Trump’s inauguration, Eric introduced legislation that would protect and enhance New Yorkers’ access to the cost-free contraception currently provided under the Affordable Care Act and threatened by Congress. He proposed reforms that would expand voting rights for all New Yorkers, with provisions including automatic and same-day registration. And to fundamentally reform our state government, rooting out corruption, Eric authored the most sweeping ethics bill in state history.

Before becoming Attorney General, Eric was praised as a leading reformer in the State Senate by numerous editorial pages and good government organizations. Among his many legislative accomplishments, Eric led the effort to reform the draconian Rockefeller drug laws, and cracked down on health insurance companies trying to deny coverage to vulnerable New Yorkers.  He led the successful fight to expel a corrupt senator for the first time in modern history, and enacted the toughest law in the nation to root out fraud against taxpayers.

Eric previously served as a public interest lawyer, representing tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, women seeking access to health clinics, and taxpayers in historic lawsuits against the MTA.  He also spent 15 years in private practice at the firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart, leaving as a partner to wage his successful campaign for State Senate.

Eric graduated from Amherst College in 1977 and Harvard Law School in 1982. He is the proud father of a daughter, Catherine.