Brooklynites eye state AG seat after top prosecutor resigns in disgrace

LICH deal sealed
Associated Press

These locals want to take the law into their own hands.

A handful of Brooklynites are vying to become New York State’s next top prosecutor after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman abruptly resigned in disgrace on May 7, following a disturbing report about four women who accused him of sexual and physical abuse over a period of years.

Public Advocate Tish James, a lawyer and former Fort Greene councilwoman succeeded by Democrat Laurie Cumbo when she won her current seat in 2013, is reportedly interested in the gig, along with fellow attorneys-turned-electeds Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D–Sheepshead Bay) and Assemblyman Joseph Lentol (D–Williamsburg), who served as an assistant Kings County district attorney prior to being elected to represent the borough up in Albany in 1972.

And Brooklyn’s former top prosecutor Elizabeth Holtzman — who ran the office from 1982 to 1989, after which her successors the late Ken Thompson and current District Attorney Eric Gonzalez overturned multiple convictions made under her tenure — is also eyeing the state seat, according to reports.

Schneiderman’s number two, Solicitor General Barbara Underwood, was sworn in as acting Attorney General on Tuesday, but Albany’s pols could appoint his successor with a majority vote in both the Assembly and Senate.

That candidate, however, would still have to win the September primary and November general election to retain the post.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.