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Defend the State or Protect its Citizenry: New York Attorney General’s Conflict of Interest Investigating NY Ethics and Fraud

May 6, 2010

In a post judgment motion a plaintiff-whistleblower working for the State Ethics Department asks the Court how the Attorney General for the State of New York could defend persons charged with serious violations of law and stand before a jury defending these very same actions as proper within the law.

Here are some excerpts from the motion:

The conflict here is particularly acute given the nature of the claims brought by plaintiff-whistleblower. Plaintiff-whistleblower charges warranted an independent investigation by the New York State Attorney General Office to review the basic claims given that Anderson was formerly a Departmental Disciplinary Committee staff attorney with considerable experience. The fact is that these are not allegations from a lay person.

While at the DDC, Plaintiff Anderson was charged with investigating cases involving possible criminal and civil misconduct. She carried out her duties as a duly authorized officer 

of the Court. The New York State Attorney General Office was therefore obligated to protect her and to investigate her claims of serious misconduct against the named parties. For no reason, the New York State Attorney General Office failed to do so.

The Attorney General is a publicly funded arm of the State. It was conflicted from the outset of this case because it could not possibly defend any of the defendants, while simultaneously investigating plaintiff ‘s claims of serious ongoing misconduct by the defendants, indeed, no explanation has ever been provided as to why the Attorney General did not represent plaintiff Anderson against any of the original defendants. This was itself a misappropriation of public funds by a state investigatory agency with prosecution powers, Federal law mandates that a special prosecutor be substituted into the case, and this was not done. The actions of the Attorney General here confused, misled and confounded the jury, by creating a false impression that the acts were officially sanctioned by the state.

Furthermore, Christine Anderson’s allegations have substantial impact on the public, the bench and bar, and cannot be ignored by the New York State Attorney General Office just because they were motivated to defend this lawsuit. This serious conflict demanded independent counsel for the defendants as a matter fairness and high ethical conduct to all involved, particularly to Christine Anderson. Having denied independent counsel to the defendants, the Attorney General prejudiced plaintiff by making it appear to the jury that the State of New York and the New York State Attorney General Office supported defendants’ conduct. This was a burden Plaintiff could never overcome and, at a minimum, warrants a new trial.

Entire motion below:

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