Eric Schneiderman and the fender bender

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A fender bender — or “hit and run” — has become a campaign issue in the Democratic race for attorney general.

A car Democratic attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman was riding in (and being driven by a niece of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan) banged into a car owned by a NY1 editor earlier this week, the television station reported Tuesday.

NY1’s report called the accident a “hit-and-run” after a witness observed the incident and reported it. Total damage to the car is expected to cost $3,000, according to the station.

Schneiderman’s campaign quickly pushed back against the story. The campaign called it a fender bender and said Schneiderman, a Manhattan state senator, wasn’t aware of the accident when it occurred. He called to apologize, said spokesman James Freedland.

“For NY1 to call this a ‘hit and run’ is nothing short of outrageous. Last night when pulling out of a parking space, a staff member driving Eric Schneiderman’s car bumped the car parked in front of them,” Freedland said in a statement. “The senator was in the passenger seat and did not believe that either his car or the car in front of his had sustained damage. He later discovered his car had been dented, and this morning was notified it had damaged the bumper and tail light of the other car. He has spoken with the owner of the other vehicle, expressed his sincere apology, and offered to pay for all repairs. No injuries were sustained.”

Kathleen Rice, the Nassau district attorney and one of Schneiderman’s four rivals for the Democratic attorney general nomination, chimed in with a statement, calling the allegations “disturbing.”

“These are clearly very disturbing allegations. Like a lot of New Yorkers, we will be reserving judgment on the incident involving State Senator Schneiderman until all of the facts are made public,” Rice said.

And, not to be outdone, Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr. issued a comment as well, calling for Schneiderman’s ouster from the Democratic Party, a blood-alcohol test and a Senate investigation.

“Why has there been no arrest in this crime committed by Senator Eric Schneiderman’s driver? If I were to permit my staff person to commit a hit and run or better yet, if Senator Pedro Espada had permitted his staff person to leave the scene of a car accident, would neither of us be arrested?”

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12 Comments

  1. If Espada were arrested, the arrest would have been effectuated by the Mamaroneck police.

  2. the consultant on

    it doesn;t matter whether or not it is a “hit and run”
    when you damage someone elses vehicle you are responsible
    and what is usually done by those who have a little bit
    of sense is to leave your card or your name address and
    tel number if you can’t stay to find out whose car it is
    to leave the scene however is unacceptable

  3. I am very concerned about a man who wants to be the next NYS Attorney General who allows his driver to commit a crime in his presence and chooses to ignore it. Had the driver stopped and dealt with the situation it would have been nothing more then an accident, when Eric Schneiderman looked the other way when his driver left the scene, he in essence became an accessory to the crime.

    Mr. Schneiderman should withdraw from the race for NYS Attorney General immediately. Mr. Schneiderman inability to make the right decision as to stop and report the accident or drive away in the hopes of not getting caught shows that he does not have the mind set to enforce the laws of NYS.

    Mr. Schneiderman made a poor decision and he must step down as a candidate for Attorney General.

  4. I HAVE TO AGREE THIS IS A BIG ISSUE AND ONE THAT I BELIEVE WILL HAUNT ERIC, HE MADE A BIG MISTAKE AND THIS SHOULD EXCLUDE HIM FROM BEING A CANDIDATE FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL.

  5. ellen Carton on

    oh, come on everyone — a little mistake — how about forgive and forget?

  6. Let alone smashing someone’s tailights and leaving the scene, I wouldn’t even vote for any pompous fat ass who can’t drive his own car.

  7. the consultant on

    most candidates have drivers during campaign…there
    is nothing unusual about that..however any person who
    wants to be the chief law enforcement official in the
    state should have the common decency if his vehicle
    causes damage to another to at least leave his name
    so that the person he damaged can be reimbursed..
    schneiderman is clearly someone who doesn’t practice
    what he preaches and is an embarassment to the legal
    community

  8. This issue speaks to a man and how he conducts himself, this incident showed a man who has no shame in hiding the truth. I wonder what his poor wife thinks of a man who lies, what else has Eric lied about?

  9. When I go to a political event, I have a lot more respect for a candidate who says,”sorry I’m a little late – I had to circle the block three times to find a parking space,” – than some fat ass who crawls out of a wide, expensive 10 miles to the gallon load of crap that is driven by a lackey who, if the candidate wins, is inevitably appointed to some lucrative public position on the taxpayers’ dime. (Happens EVERY time.) Guiliani went so far as to make his chauffeur (who can now be found imprisoned,) Police Commissioner.

  10. After reading these stupid comments, I believe we are not smart enough as a people to have self-governance.

    Bring back the King and stop assuming every stupid peasant’s opinion matters at all.