YONKERS - The state attorney general finally broke his silence on the high-profile federal probe into the now-defunct Moreland Commission, but he did not say much.
As News 12 has reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office is under investigation for allegations that it interfered with the anti-corruption commission's work, after Cuomo created the commission to tackle state corruption then abruptly shut it down. Since Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office played a key role in the Moreland Commission's creation last year, questions have swirled around what, if anything, the attorney general knows.
"As you know, it has been highly publicized that there is a federal investigation underway," Schneiderman said. "I can't, I don't comment on ongoing investigations. The U.S. attorney has the full cooperation of our office."
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U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara has been the dogged force behind probing the dismantling of the commission. Last week, Bharara met with Schneiderman for a public lunch in Manhattan, perhaps to signal that the state attorney general is not a target of the probe.
Meanwhile, News 12 has confirmed that high-profile criminal defense attorney Elkan Abramowitz was hired by the governor's office several months ago. Cuomo's office says campaign funds will cover any legal fees in the case, not taxpayer dollars.
Schneiderman says he has not hired his own criminal defense attorney.