Since environmentalist mega-donor and now-Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg provided an inaugural $6 million grant for New York University School of Law to launch the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center (SEEIC) in August 2017, the program has been a point of controversy. Now its critics include several state attorneys general, who have spoken out publicly about the gross legal and ethical problems with the program which has seated 18 special assistant attorneys general (SAAGs) in the offices of 11 Democratic state attorneys general.
In a recently published article, Republican attorneys general told the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Chris White that the arrangement is akin to paying for government access and likening them to political mercenaries. As Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) pointed out:
“What’s problematic is the arrangement through which a private organization or individual can promote an overtly political agenda by paying the salaries of government employees.”
Hill believes that Bloomberg’s program pushes the envelope of ethical acceptability:
“[A]ll of the government employees being compensated in this manner are lawyers working for Democratic attorneys general, according to NYU’s website. This whole scenario raises obvious ethical and legal concerns.” (emphasis added).
Hill isn’t the only attorney general speaking out about his concerns. A spokeswoman for Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr told the Daily Caller that Carr had “serious concerns” about the SAAGs’ ability to represent the state “in an unbiased manner.”
Read more at EID Climate.
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