NY lawmakers criticize Iowa AG over Schneiderman removal
New York lawmakers sent a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller criticizing a decision to drop New York AG Eric Schneiderman from an executive committee focused on settlement talks with mortgage servicers. In the letter, 21 Democratic lawmakers out of New York say the decision to remove Schneiderman from the committee is "a dangerous precedent for other attorneys general who, out of fear of what might happen, may choose silence over voicing valid concerns with particular aspects of the proposed settlement." Tom Miller's office was still waiting to receive the letter Tuesday morning. Schneiderman was removed from the executive committee for allegedly undermining its objectives earlier this summer. The New York AG participated in the committee's calls with top servicers until June when the group decided to restructure, forming a smaller negotiation committee. Iowa's AG Tom Miller claims Schneiderman was offered a role on the committee, but declined to participate saying he would go a different direction. "Since that time, New York has actively worked to undermine the very same multistate group with which it had been working very closely over the previous nine months," Miller's office said in a previous statement. Schneiderman recently threw a wrench in a deal between BofA and Bank of New York Mellon (BK) and issued subpoenas to BofA executives over securities disclosures. He also launched probes into Deutsche Bank (DB) and BNY Mellon over their roles as trustees in securitized transactions. Democrats pushing back against Schneiderman's removal from the executive committee say they desire a response from the committee outlining how New York will be represented as the group negotiates a settlement with banks. "Undoubtedly, our state, the third largest in the nation, deserves a seat at any negotiating table that could potentially limit our state's ability to investigate and penalize wrongdoing done within our borders," the lawmakers wrote. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.