Are they both illegal?
Official emails in Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s Gmail account, which he finally turned over to his office in response to a Public Information Act request by Energy Policy Advocates (EPA), revealed him to have been Michael Bloomberg’s initial lead recruiter for placing Bloomberg-funded “Special Assistant Attorneys General” (SAAGs).
On Thursday, GAO served its own Motion to have the promises Frosh made to Bloomberg’s group released to the public, at long last. These are now of even greater public interest.
A recent Maryland OAG production shows that as of March 2019 Frosh has taken on not one but two Bloomberg-funded climate prosecutors. As GAO noted in its litigation filing, the first SAAG was demonstrably illegal — Frosh appointed him as “pro bono special counsel”, after setting his salary at $125,000 plus benefits to be paid by a major party donor.
That is not what pro bono means in Maryland, as Chris Horner and Victoria Toensing pointed out in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. Frosh had no legal authority to bring these “SAAGs” into his office. If he did, he would have pointed to it; instead he pointed to statuary authority that simply doesn’t apply.
GAO now seeks records to determine if this second one is in violation of Maryland law, as well.