THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS
August 11 to August 15, 2014
Attorney General Schneiderman secured an agreement with Barneys New York that will help ensure that customers, regardless of their race or ethnicity, have equal access to its stores throughout New York. This agreement follows a nine-month-long investigation by the Attorney General’s Office, which was launched after two African-American customers alleged they were falsely accused of credit card fraud while shopping at Barneys’ flagship store. Additionally, the Attorney General found that Barneys maintained inadequate records of stops made by their loss-prevention employees, but despite these lapses, existing records showed a disproportionate number of African-American and Latino customers being detained for alleged shoplifting or credit card fraud. Among other things, under the settlement Barneys will develop and conduct anti-profiling training for loss-prevention and sales employees, Investigate customer complaints of profiling, and pay $525,000 in costs, fees, and penalties.
Schneiderman Secures Funding To Equip Officers In The Hudson Valley And Westchester With Bulletproof Vests
Attorney General Schneiderman announced awards to law enforcement agencies in the Hudson Valley and Westchester through the Attorney General’s inVEST Partnership, a statewide program that helps law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for sworn officers. The funding awarded includes $80,000 to support the purchase of 200 vests for the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, $33,300 to purchase 74 vests for the Kingston Police Department, $34,592 to purchase 84 vests for the Yonkers Police Department, receiving, $30,720 to purchase 80 vests for the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety, and $5,000 to purchase 10 vests for the City of Poughkeepsie. In total, the Attorney General announced $382,192.58 in grants to support the purchase of 971 bulletproof vests.
Schneiderman Announces The Arrest And Four-Count Indictment Of Broome County Attorney On Charges Of Larceny And Scheme To Defraud
Attorney General Schneiderman announced the arrest and four-count indictment of an attorney on charges of Larceny and Scheme to Defraud. The attorney is accused of overbilling the New York State Supreme Court’s Attorneys for Children program and the Broome County Assigned Counsel program by nearly $11,000. The defendant who was one of the highest billers to the Attorneys for Children program in the Third Judicial Department, submitted invoices totaling $747,139 for the two programs between January 1, 2009, and September 30, 2011. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison.
Attorney General Schneiderman and leading media company IAC announced a groundbreaking agreement aimed at curbing cyberbullying and harassment to protect members of Ask.fm, a mobile-optimized social networking website just acquired by IAC operating business Ask.com, which has exploded in popularity among teenagers.
Launched in 2010, Ask.fm has over 180 million monthly active users around the world, 42% of whom are under age 18. Under the terms of the agreement, Ask.fm will revamp its safety policies and procedures, including creating a new online Safety Center, hiring a trust and safety officer to act as a primary safety contact, and establishing a Safety Advisory Board to oversee all safety issues. Ask.fm will also review user complaints within 24 hours and remove users that have been the subject of multiple complaints. An independent safety and security examiner will be appointed to examine the changes and report on compliance to the Attorney General’s Office for three years.
Schneiderman Reaches Settlements With Three NYC Real Estate Brokers And Two Buffalo Landlords Prohibiting Discrimination
Attorney General Schneiderman has secured settlement agreements with three real estate brokerage firms in New York City and two landlords in Buffalo ensuring that tenants are not denied their right to use government assistance. Both Buffalo and New York City regulations prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of lawful source of income, a category that includes government vouchers as well any legitimate occupation. Attorney General Schneiderman’s office is committed to upholding these regulations to ensure that all New Yorkers have equal access to housing.
Schneiderman Announces Four Arrests And $6.5 Million Settlement For Medicaid Fraud At Brooklyn Adult Day Health Care Facility
Attorney General Schneiderman announced that four employees of the Northern Manor Adult Day Health Care Program (Northern Manor ADHC), a health care facility in Brooklyn providing services to the elderly, have been arrested after a long-term investigation. As a condition of the settlement, Attorney General Schneiderman required that the facility be shut down. Furthermore, Northern Manor Multicare Center, Inc., the nursing home that operates the Brooklyn program, has agreed to pay a $6.5 million civil settlement in connection with this case.
A.G. Schneiderman & TLC Recover Over $1.6 Million In Restitution, Penalties From NYC Taxicab Company
Attorney General Schneiderman and Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Commissioner Meera Joshi announced that Yellow Cab SLS Jet Management Corp. (SLS Jet) has agreed to pay $1,387,500 in restitution to drivers who were illegally charged by the company, as well as $125,000 in penalties. Under a separate agreement with the TLC, SLS Jet will also pay $125,000 plus $25,000 toward cost of monitoring compliance, for a total of $1.6 million in restitution and fines. SLS Jet is one of the fifteen largest medallion leasing agents in New York City, managing approximately 275 medallions.
In Other News…
Attorney General Schneiderman honored students at a Triple C award ceremony for students from Orange and Rockland Counties.
The Attorney General emphasizes the importance of maintaining net neutrality.
For more info on Attorney General Schneiderman and/or other politicians hit us up at RandyKFisher@gmail.com.
Posted by Charles and Randy Fisher (Twitter @HHSYC).