Rumors circulating in Rockland County that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman utilized FBI informant Mark/Moses/Moshe Stern as a go-between with the Rockland Hasidic community in the recent past are greatly exaggerated, Schneiderman’s office told the Rockland County Times.
However, Stern was among “thousands” of supporters who helped elect Schneiderman to the office in 2010, said Damien LaVera, senior advisor & chief spokesperson admitted.
Schneidermann’s office released the following statement to the Rockland County Times Wednesday evening: “Like thousands of New Yorkers, this individual was a community activist who supported the campaign in his local community. He no longer has any connection to the attorney general.”
Stern is reputed to be a noted “donation bundler,” someone who aggregates donations from numerous sources within a community and then funnels them into a candidate’s campaign coffers. Bundlers such as a Stern are considered very influential in the 21st century game of politics.
Albany sources also told the Rockland County Times that the AG has a close relationship with Malcolm Smith, the state senator at the center of the corruption probe.
Smith and Schneiderman were longtime colleagues in the State Senate, with Smith winning out over Schneiderman in a leadership battle following Senator David Paterson’s election to lieutenant governor.
The Albany insider told the Rockland County Times that Smith and Schneiderman had been close friends for the past decade. He described the pair as “bonded as brothers.”
UPDATE: Schneiderman has pledged to give to charity over $100,000 donated to his campaign coffers in 2010 by Stern-controlled donors Esther and Joseph Markowtiz of Monsey.
“In light of reports that Mr. and Mrs. Markowitz are involved in an ongoing law enforcement investigation, out of an abundance of caution, the campaign will donate the full amount of their contributions to charities helping New Yorkers recovering from Hurricane Sandy,” Schneiderman spokesman Damien LaVera told the Daily News.