Legal Group Takes Anti-Exxon AG To Court Over Hidden Emails

Schneiderman

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is hiding emails showing he is colluding with wealthy environmentalists to take down ExxonMobil, a conservative legal group argued in court Tuesday.

E&E Legal believes the New York Democrat is refusing to disclose documents indicating environmentalists Tom Steyer and members of the Rockefeller Family Foundation prodded Schneiderman into investigating the oil company’s climate science. He is legally entitled to keep internal communication private, but is obligated to fork over information sent to outside parties.

The group told Judge Arlene Bluth that Schneiderman’s aide Christina Harvey sent an email in October to her boss and an outside political consultant, Kristie Stiles. Harvey’s email, as well as those sent to other outsiders, should not be protected, E&E Legal argued.

He uses a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) “law enforcement” exemption to justify blocking the requests, and claims his communication with the donors is part of the Exxon investigation.

E&E’s lawyer, Francis Menton, said Schneiderman’s office waived any right to keeping the documents private after sending them to Stiles. The AG’s legal office, meanwhile, argues Harvey never expected Stiles to read the email.

Menton’s argument comes on the heels of a report from The Daily Caller News Foundation last week showing members of NY AG’s office have used private emails to send communications to outside sources.

FOIA’d documents obtained earlier this year show that Lem Srolovic, the assistant attorney general at the New York Attorney General’s Office, used his personal email account in 2012 to prepare for a meeting with environmental organizations. His memo raises questions about how often Schneiderman’s office uses personal emails for professional meetings.

It’s not clear from the email if the meeting was meant to build a case against fossil fuel companies like Exxon, but there is evidence the campaign against the oil company began as early as 2012 at the La Jolla conference.

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Comments (3)

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    Amber

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    While they are investigating lobbyist Schneiderman they will want to see how much money he got from California billionaires to pursue his witch hunt while being paid by
    tax payers . We have already seen Schneiderman’ s plea for donor cash . Did he get it for a service promise ? How many of his expenses are paid by tax payers as he pursues non government activity for donors ?

  • Avatar

    R. Johnson

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    Truly amazing the depths some will sink; Schneiderman is truly a bottom-dweller. His investigation into ExxonMobile on climate change is a bizarre witch hunt. Secret emails, outside fundraising, refusing to respond to FOIA requests. Schneiderman is using neo-McCarthyistic methods to damage Exxon; truly a despicable tactic. He must recuse himself from the “investigation” and resign from office immediately.

  • Avatar

    Sonnyhill

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    New development : climate change sanctuary states.

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