“Your removal of Attorney General Schneiderman sets a dangerous precedent for other attorneys general who, out of fear for what might happen, may choose silence over voicing valid concerns with particular aspects of the proposed settlement,” the letter states.
The letter continues: “Moreover, your attempt to banish opposition rather than address varying viewpoints undermines both the validity of the process and any settlements reached by the committee.”
The delegates note that New York was ranked one of the top 10 states for suspected mortgage fraud for two years by the FBI.
The delegates cite this ranking, combined with the fact that New York is the third-largest state in the country, as reasons New York should be part of any negotiations that would affect investigations and penalties for violations occurring within the state.
Miller made an independent decision to remove Schneiderman from the committee last week, claiming Schneiderman had “actively worked to undermine” the committee.
In a statement released after his decision, Miller said, “While we certainly respect the right of any state to choose to no longer participate in a multistate and to pursue another path, working to actively undermine a multistate while still a member of the Executive Committee simply doesn’t make sense, is unprecedented and is unacceptable.”
Schneiderman was one of the original members of the executive committee of attorneys general working on a settlement with the nation’s top servicers over foreclosure fraud.
He has objected to provisions in the proposed settlement that would preclude further investigations or remunerations from the banks.
Miller says Schneiderman was invited to participate on a negotiation committee formed in June, but he declined.
The New York delegates assert that “Raising legitimate concerns about elements of the proposed settlement is a responsibility of every member of the executive committee and should never be the basis for silencing a viewpoint.”
They request an explanation of how New York’s interests will be protected as negotiations continue.
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