In a new piece, the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board said there are “obvious” ethical problems with privately funded lawyers working in the offices of state attorneys general.
Specifically, the Board looked at the “remarkable arrangement” between the NYU Law School’s State Energy and Environmental Impact Center and attorneys general offices around the country. For example, according to the editorial, the Center emailed the New York AG in 2017 and offered to cover the salaries and benefits of “special assistant attorneys general,” if the office detailed how the new attorneys would be used. The private attorneys would work out of the AG’s office for a two-year stint and deliver quarterly progress reports back to the Center, explaining “the contribution that the legal fellow has made to the clean energy, climate change, and environmental initiatives.”
The Board said this is an example of private interests “leveraging the police powers of the state to pursue their political agenda.”