NY attorney general — an aggressor in automotive regulation — resigns amid abuse allegations

Former New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, seen here last February after filing a civil rights lawsuit against the Weinstein Company, resigned on Tuesday amid physical abuse allegations. Photo courtesy of the New York attorney general’s office.

An attorney general who previously had taken aggressive regulatory and enforcement actions within the automotive space has resigned amid allegations of physical abuse against women.

According to a report published on Monday afternoon in The New Yorker, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman resigned within three hours of the online recap of on-the-record allegations from a pair of former sexual partners of the Empire State’s top law enforcement official, plus more claims from two other women who requested anonymity.

Allegations of physical violence and explicit sexual activity filled the report, to which Schneiderman retorted: “It’s been my great honor and privilege to serve as attorney general for the people of the state of New York.

“In the last several hours, serious allegations, which I strongly contest, have been made against me,” he continued in a statement sent to SubPrime Auto Finance News. “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. I therefore resign my office, effective at the close of business on May 8, 2018.”

While the book might be closed on Schneiderman’s tenure as New York attorney general, he left quite a mark with actions that have connections to auto financing.

Most recently, Schneiderman sent formal inquiries regarding data security last September to Experian and TransUnion following the Equifax data breach that potentially exposed the personal information of 143 million consumers.

Not long after Volkswagen made some progress in satisfying “Dieselgate” issues with federal regulators, Schneiderman led the charge in July 2016 with lawsuits against Volkswagen as well as Audi and Porsche, saying the automakers fitted vehicles with illegal “defeat devices” that concealed illegal amounts of harmful emissions and then allegedly attempted to cover up their behavior.

In July 2015, Schneiderman raked in a multi-million dollar settlement with three dealerships in a development associated with the alleged unlawful sale of credit repair and identity theft prevention services, and other “after-sale” items. Officials explained the agreement, which returns more than $13.5 million in restitution to consumers, concludes an investigation into these dealerships for the alleged sale of finance office products to 15,000 consumers — items that in some cases added more than $2,000 in “hidden costs and fees” onto the sale or lease price of a single vehicle.