1st day of interviews for NY attorney general's job set

Embattled mayor trying to capitalize on Schneiderman’s downfall

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The state Legislature began interviewing candidates to replace Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who resigned over a domestic violence scandal.

Maloney, a resident of Cold Spring, said he is supporting Acting AG Barbara Underwood to serve for the rest of 2018.

"If I were the legislature, I would appoint Barbara Underwood to complete this term", Lloyd Constantine, a former aide to Eliot Spitzer, wrote in his cover letter to the Legislature.

Rep. Kathleen Rice on Tuesday withdrew from consideration to become the next state attorney general.

Richard Thomas is charged with allegedly siphoning campaign and inaugural committee money, the New York Daily News reports.

"The legislature shall appoint", Assemblyman Joseph Lentol said.

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But at least three of the other candidates think Underwood - who some lawmakers have already said they favor for the interim job - may be the best qualified to serve out Schneiderman's term.

"I definitely think it should be an open process", Barclay said "There's a concern whenever the legislature gets to make an appointment to a statewide office - you don't want a backroom deal". "I've argued 20 cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, 21 cases before our state's highest court, and 33 cases in the Second Circuit - and I've closely supervised the work of other attorneys on hundreds more".

"It's time to put people ahead of politics, and ultimately let the voters decide who their next attorney general will be", Flanagan said in a statement.

Rather, Rice said she would run for a third term in Congress.

Thomas Abinanti, the next applicant whom the committee considered Tuesday, joked that the room had already cleared out, and that the state "could do a lot worse" than Underwood. Republicans have criticized Cuomo for chiming in on the attorney general selection process, saying the state's top legal agency must remain independent from the governor's office.

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