Cahill rips state AG for stand on Cuomo’s corruption panel

By TimesLedger staff

Republican candidate for state attorney general John Cahill criticized AG Eric Schneiderman for failing to protect the work of the Moreland Commission, an anti-corruption panel that was formed last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cahill, a counsel at the international law firm Chadbourne & Parke that focuses on environmental law, ripped the governor for canceling the commission he set up in 2013 to fight corruption in state politics in an interview at the offices of the TimesLedger Newspapers. He said the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption was “a unique opportunity to get to the root of corruption” in Albany.

“The attorney general never stood up and asserted the independence of his office,” Cahill said. “He didn’t do it during the ongoing investigations or when the governor said the Moreland Commission was over.”

The Republican candidate for the state’s top law enforcement office pointed out that when the commission was formed, its members were sworn in as deputy state attorneys general.

“The commission became Schneiderman’s commission,” said Cahill, former chief adviser to ex-Gov. George Pataki. “In essence, what Gov. Cuomo did by closing the commission was to fire Scheiderman’s attorneys, and he didn’t say a word.”

Cuomo closed the book on the commission in March.

“The attorney general missed an enormous opportunity to fight corruption,” said Cahill, a partner at the Pataki Cahill Group. Cahill announced his candidacy for the attorney general’s office back in May after being approached by several supporters.

The Republican candidate also criticized Schneiderman for bringing a lawsuit against federal agencies for allowing natural gas fracking in the Delaware River Basin, arguing that it required a full environmental study.

“We sent the oil and gas companies a message, saying that we are going to fight you every step of the way,” Cahill, a father of four, said. “That’s unfortunate.”

Cahill, a Bronx native who grew up in Yonkers, called for allowing hydraulic fracturing as long as there are three non-negotiable parameters put into place.

“It can never be done in the state’s watershed, in its parks and disclosing what is being injected into our groundwater,” said Cahill, former commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Cahill, who coached soccer and baseball in high school, focuses his law career in environmental law.

“I believe this can be done,” he added, calling for a regulatory framework on fracking.

Reach the newsroom by phone at 718-260-4545.

More from Around New York