On Friday, June 22, 2018, the Oregon Attorney General “announced the appointment of former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick as a Legal Fellow from the NYU State Impact Center. As a Legal Fellow, Novick will work as an Oregon Special Assistant Attorney General on legal cases related to clean energy, climate change and the environment. The position is funded through NYU’s State Impact Center, but the work will be overseen by the Oregon Department of Justice.”
The “State Impact Center” is a project of billionaire Michael Bloomberg to, as the name makes clear, have an impact at the state level on his pet issue of promoting renewable energy and investigating those who oppose the ‘climate’ political agenda.
The below documents, all obtained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) under open records requests, include OR OAG’s application for the privately donated lawyer (who is an employee of NYU, funded by Mr. Bloomberg). As the Oregon Department of Justice acknowledged in making this announcement, the Bloomberg project had approved OAG for the privately funded special prosecutor back in December.
These documents show that, at NYU’s request, OR OAG had to first insist that if it only had more resources and lawyers than the legislature has given it, it would pursue more of those matters Mr. Bloomberg and his NYU project would like to see pursued.
As also shown in the below documents it is Oregon’s clear practice and policy that SAAG contracts do not contemplate private donors enlisting the office to pursue other parties. Not that Oregon’s taxpayers or courts should expect otherwise, given the obvious due process concerns with such use of government.
Instead, every Oregon SAAG contract explains how the benefitting agency — in this case, OAG — is to pay the SAAG, according to the state fee schedule laid out in the subsequent paragraph.
Oregon’s AG has broken with this practice, to allow the Bloomberg-funded project to engage Oregon’s top law enforcement office for the project’s own ends.
These OAG hires began with an August 25, 2017 letter from NYU, recruiting potentially willing OAGs to accept a Bloomberg-funded attorney in their offices in return for three inducements:
– “three full time attorneys who will be available to provide direct legal assistance to interested AGs on specific…matters involving clean energy, climate change and environmental interests…”
– “we will maintain a set of on-going relationships with advocates working in the area, and we also are identifying pro bono services that may be available to your offices on individual matters.”
– “a full time communications expert…to work with, and help leverage, the communications resources in your offices.”
That recruitment concluded with the plea, “It’s in everyone’s interest that we work with the relevant AGs and hire these lawyers as soon as practicable.”
Yet despite the urgency, and inducements, the process only bore fruit for NYU/Bloomberg in Oregon last week. Public records confirm that other OAGs also pumped the brakes in their rush to engage in such a highly questionable practice of outsourcing investigations of private parties, to other private parties with an avowed political and policy agenda.
A major consideration for that outbreak of caution should certainly have been what this problematic effort represents, and that the practice runs the risk of ensuring any subsequent efforts involving the privately funded law enforcement officers are fatally tainted. Those concerns seem also to have taken root in Virginia, New Mexico and, surprisingly, Illinois among others, who applied for and were approved for Bloomberg-funded special prosecutors.
Regardless, add Oregon to the list, along with New York and Maryland of states whose top law enforcement offices admit to having begun down this troubling path of outsourcing law enforcement to private activists.
State Energy & Environmental Impact Center NYU School of Law
State Energy & Environmental Impact Center
State Impact Center Retainer agreement FINAL DRAFT
Special Assistant Attny General
Special Assistant AG application deadline — September 15
Re State Energy & Environmnetal Impact Center
RE Special Assistant Attny General (2)
Re Special Assistant Attny General (3)
Re Special Assistant Attny General
RE Special Assistant Attny General (1)
Re NYU Law Fellow Program
RE Multistate AG Coordination Call
Re Oregon DOJ application for NYU Law Fellow copy
RE Multistate AG Coordination Call (3)
RE Multistate AG Coordination Call (4)
Oregon DOJ application for NYU Law Fellow
RE fellowship program follow up (4)
Re fellowship program follow up copy
OR DOJ application attachment
NYU Law Fellow Program
NYU Law Fellow Position Description Oct 2017
fellowship program followup
FW Paul Garrahan – Confidential
Draft Secondment Agreement Oct 18 2017
Call b w State Impact Center & OR AG office
Accepted Invitation Ca b w State Impact Center & OR AG office @ Wed Dec 13 2017 3 pm 4 pm fred boss
OR AG NYU production copy