New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he will step down as the state’s highest law enforcement official, hours after a report in which four women accused him of physical violence.
The New Yorker posted an article Monday outlining allegations of abuse. Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, spoke on the record to the magazine. They didn’t report their allegations to the police at the time, but both eventually sought medical attention after having been slapped hard and choked, according to The New Yorker.
“It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the State of New York,” Schneiderman said in a statement late Monday. “In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me. While these allegations are unrelated to my professional conduct or the operations of the office, they will effectively prevent me from leading the office’s work at this critical time.”
His resignation will be effective at the close of business Tuesday.
Schneiderman, New York attorney general since 2011, had planned to run for re-election in November. The allegations against him are especially shocking because they follow years of legislative and legal advocacy for women’s rights, especially against physical and sexual abuse. Among the laws he helped pass during his 12 years in the New York state senate was a penalty for strangulation.
The Democrat has also been a courtroom foe of President Donald Trump, earning national recognition for playing a central role in resisting the current administration’s policies.