Brooklyn Boro

Acting AG Underwood, others in running, have strong Brooklyn ties

Search for the next AG is on following Schneiderman ouster

May 9, 2018 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In this photo provided by the New York Attorney General's Office, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, right, takes the oath of office at the State Capitol in Albany on Tuesday. Underwood became the state's acting Attorney General after Eric Schneiderman resigned amid accusations of abusing four women during intimate encounters. From left is New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, Underwood's husband Martin Halpern and Barbara Underwood. New York Attorney General's Office via AP
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The county of Kings is certainly a kingmaker when it comes to the race to be the new state Attorney General.

It starts with Barbara Underwood, who became the acting AG on Tuesday after Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace after four women alleged he assaulted them.

Underwood has served as the state’s solicitor general for more than a decade. But from 1993 to 2007, she served as counsel and chief assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, supervising more than 150 lawyers in Brooklyn and Central Islip, Long Island, according to Newsday.

She also has served as an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School. Early in her career, in 1982, she “left a tenured professorship at Yale Law School to toil in the low-rent vineyards of the Brooklyn District Attorney,” The New York Times reported in 1998. There, she eventually served as chief of appeals and counsel to former Brooklyn District Attorney Elizabeth Holtzman, according to Bloomberg News.

Holtzman, who was also a congresswoman from Brooklyn, is also considering putting her hat into the ring for the Attorney General post, NY1 political correspondent Grace Rauh reported.

Holtzman grew up in Brooklyn and went to Abraham Lincoln High School on Ocean Parkway. In 1972, she was elected to the Congress, where she served for four terms. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, she actively took part in the impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. She was elected district attorney in 1981 and served in that position until she was elected as New York City comptroller in 1989.

Crain’s has reported that former Fort Greene Councilmember — and current Public Advocate — Letitia James is interested in the AG post. While a councilmember, she was one of the main foes of Bruce Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project, which was approved over her objections. She was elected as public advocate in 2013.

Bloomberg News mentions Todd Kaminsky, a state senator from Long Island, as “another strong candidate who is sure to enjoy support in Albany.” Immediately before he was elected senator in 2015, he was a federal prosecutor in the Brooklyn-based Eastern District, where he served as acting head of the public integrity section. In that role, he prosecuted former Rep Michael Grimm (R-Bay Ridge), who is now running to recapture his old seat.


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