Sunday, September 18, 2011
Are Private Investigators Being Used to Intimidate New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s Staff?
The New York Post [owned by Murdoch’s News Corp—MCM] has a salacious story about Alisha Smith, a lawyer with the New York attorney general’s office, who is a dominatrix in her private life. Frankly, many of the skills honed by being a domme probably come in handy in litigation (such as knowing exactly how much pain and humiliation to administer when).
The problem isn’t with her having a kinky private life per se; it is the allegation by the Post that she may have gotten paid for performing at S&M parties. Smith makes all of $78,825 a year and the policy of the state AG’s office is for staff to obtain prior approval of any activity which will earn them more than $1,000. The Post presented its allegations about Smith, who was hired by Andrew Cuomo and played an important role in a securities fraud case that led to a $5 billion settlement by Bank of America. She has been suspended without pay as the AG conducts an investigation.
After l’affaire Spitzer, readers in comments have repeatedly noted that Schneiderman had better be squeaky clean since he would be targeted by private investigators, as Spitzer clearly was. This Post “story” looks to have been the result of private investigators going after Schneiderman’s staff, with the intent of intimidating them and embarrassing and discrediting him. This report is even less specific than the one the Post filed on the maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape and clearly came from private investigators in the employ of DSK. And those sensationalistic charges, that she was a hooker, that the union had placed her in the hotel and had some sort of profit sharing arrangement, that she was turning tricks while under protective custody, all appear to have been fabrications (they initially sounded plausible because they were detailed, but the maid is suing the Post for defamation, and a source has indicated that there is no evidence that she was a prostitute).