Legislature elects Underwood to serve as attorney general

Photo courtesy of the New York State Attorney General’s Office
Barbara Underwood is congratulated by lawmakers after the Legislature elected her as the next attorney general. She is replacing Eric Schneiderman on a temporary basis, until New Yorkers elect a new attorney general in November.

Barbara Underwood was appointed New York state attorney general on Tuesday to fill the vacancy left by Eric Schneiderman’s abrupt resignation on May 8. Schneiderman resigned following a New Yorker article which detailed allegations of abuse by four different women.

The New York State Legislature, led by the Assembly, interviewed interested candidates for two days last week, and voted to appoint Underwood, the long-time solicitor general, to run the Attorney General’s Office until the end of this year.

New Yorkers will pick the next attorney general this November, during the general election, as Underwood has stated she does not plan to seek a full four-year term.

Underwood issued the following statement after being elected by a vote of the full Legislature Tuesday:

“I want to thank the legislature for entrusting me with the privilege of serving as New York’s 66th Attorney General.

It is a tremendous honor and I pledge to serve the people of the Great State of New York with honesty, integrity, and all of the skills I have acquired during decades of public service.

During my 11 years with the Attorney General’s office, I have seen first-hand the extraordinary talent and dedication of the people of this office. More than 700 attorneys, and another 1,000 investigators, analysts, support staff, and other professionals, are working hard every day to bring justice to the people of New York.

In the past few weeks, they have once again demonstrated their professionalism by pursuing the vital work of the people – rooting out fraud, fighting the opioid epidemic, protecting the vulnerable, and defending and enforcing the laws of our state.

At this moment, when so many New Yorkers are fearful of the effects of overreaching and discriminatory federal policies on them and their families, the role of the New York Attorney General’s office is more important than ever.

I’ve served in many roles in government throughout my career. But I believe this job – at this moment in history – is the most important job I have ever had.

I look forward to continuing to lead our office’s work to bring justice to all New Yorkers, without fear or favor.”