CLW has noticed an apparent conflict in the stories being told by the Bloomberg-funded State Energy & Environmental Impact Center (SEEIC) and its New York AG partner — or erstwhile partner, hard to tell — in the climate litigation industry.
NYU has a web page admitting to which AG offices which have taken NYU’s dare to use a major party donor’s resources — in the words of Virginia’s OAG — “to advance the agenda represented by the State Impact Center“. It was a grudging admission, in CLW’s humble opinion, only made late this past summer thanks to CLW’s July and August inquiries (here is a July 12 Wayback Machine snapshot).
New York? Bbbut…in the course of discouraging New York Judge Barry Ostrager from accepting the argument that NY OAG’s pursuit of ExxonMobil was fruit of the poisoned tree — purchased by an activist political donor — and after scrutiny and criticism (and an ethics complaint), that Office made what appeared to be a remarkable admission: OAG had prematurely terminated the two-year engagement of one of its Bloomberg-provided SAAGs, and the second would be terminated as of late June.
NY OAG backed this up with affidavits.
NY OAG told the Court it had moved on from the whole…controversy…with these privately funded SAAGs and, as such, it would be best that the Court move on from such an unpleasant issue. At least one public interest group immediately requested the contractually required early termination letters…which letters NY OAG, curiously, claims it does not in fact have.
So maybe NY OAG didn’t terminate the SAAGs’ arrangements as it told the Court, after all? That is one explanation why the Bloomberg Center, on a page updated to provide these details well after OAG’s letter to the Court, claims that there is indeed a privately hired Bloomberg Center lawyer or lawyers still toiling away in the New York AG’s Office.
But the only way both of these statements can be true is if NY AG then turned around and brought in yet more Bloomberg-funded “Special Assistant Attorneys General” to — expressly — pursue its ExxonMobil investigations and beef up the climate litigation industry.
That must be the case as it is inconceivable that OAG and individual lawyers lied to the Court (or reversed course without also informing the Court; and it is difficult to imagine that the Bloomberg Center is still claiming it has “Special Assistant AGs” in the New York AG’s Office when it doesn’t.
All of which suggests a very cheeky move by both parties, and makes one more known unknown about the private staffing of law enforcement offices.