Eric T. Schneiderman was elected the 65th Attorney General of New York State on November 2, 2010. As the highest ranking law enforcement officer for the State, Eric has taken on the tough fights to protect New Yorkers—because he believes there must be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or powerful.
Eric has won national recognition for his fight against crime and corruption on behalf of everyday New Yorkers who work hard and play by the rules. He has locked up corrupt politicians who ripped off taxpayers, taken down major drug trafficking rings across New York State and protected hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from consumer fraud.
Eric led the national effort that secured more than $95 billion from the banks that helped cause the housing crash – including more than $5 billion for New York families and communities hit hard by the housing crisis. He created the Homeowner Protection Program to help New Yorkers at risk of foreclosure stay in their homes, a program that has already served nearly 60,000 New York families.
Eric has fought for justice for all workers, defending their right to a fair and decent wage for a full day’s work. In just three years, he has returned over $22 million to more than 17,000 workers who were cheated out of pay by unscrupulous employers.
Since assuming office, Eric has led national and statewide efforts to protect our environment and fight climate change. He recently led a successful multistate effort to eliminate dangerous microbeads from our waterways, secured a $10 million settlement with ExxonMobil to pay for clean-up costs related to oil spills across New York, and leads a 16 state coalition of attorneys general committed to upholding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and holding fossil fuel companies accountable for their public disclosures about the financial risks associated with climate change.
When the federal government cut funding for bulletproof vests for New York’s police officers, Eric stepped in and used funds he recovered from drug traffickers to pay for bulletproof vests for local police departments. He also created the Community Overdose Prevention (COP) Program—a $5 million commitment to equip law enforcement agencies with naloxone, a life-saving antidote that can immediately stop a heroin overdose. He created I-STOP, a nationally recognized prescription drug tracking system that has reduced opioid-related doctor shopping in New York by 90% since its implementation.
Before becoming Attorney General, Eric was praised as a leading reformer in the State Senate by numerous editorial pages and good government organizations. Among his many legislative accomplishments, Eric led the effort to reform the broken and outdated Rockefeller drug laws, and he cracked down on health insurance companies trying to deny coverage to vulnerable New Yorkers. He was the only Senator in modern history to chair a committee to expel a corrupt senator from the legislature, and he enacted the toughest law in the nation to root out fraud against taxpayers.
Eric previously served as a public interest lawyer, representing tenants trying to evict drug dealers from their buildings, women seeking access to health clinics, and taxpayers in historic lawsuits against the MTA. He also spent 15 years in private practice at the firm of Kirkpatrick and Lockhart.
Eric graduated from Amherst College in 1977 and Harvard Law School in 1982. He is the proud father of his daughter, Catherine.