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Thursday, September 19, 2019

N.Y. ethics commission drops complaint filed by Trump against state AG

By Jessica Karmasek | Sep 2, 2015


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - The New York Joint Commission on Public Ethics has decided it will not pursue an ethics complaint filed by business magnate -- and candidate for president -- Donald Trump against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Newsday reported earlier this week that the commission’s board voted to reject Trump’s complaint, filed against Schneiderman in December 2013.

The complaint was filed with the commission in retaliation against the lawsuit the attorney general brought against Trump in August 2013 over his Trump University.

Trump, who is running for the Republican nomination for president, also claimed in the complaint that Schneiderman, a Democrat, solicited campaign contributions from his daughter while investigating Trump University.

Ivanka Trump, who wasn’t a principal in Trump University, donated to the attorney general’s reelection campaign, but her $500 check was later returned.

Trump’s attorneys called the commission’s decision “a joke,” and said he is considering an appeal.

In August 2013, Schneiderman sued Trump and the Trump Entrepreneur Institute, formerly known as Trump University LLC, for allegedly engaging in deceptive and illegal conduct.

The school, the attorney general alleges, operated as an unlicensed educational institute between 2005 and 2011.

Schneiderman contends the school promised to teach Trump’s real estate investing techniques to consumers around the U.S. but allegedly misled consumers into paying for expensive courses that failed to deliver.

The attorney general alleges that Trump did not hand-pick even one instructor for the seminars and had little to no role in developing the school’s curriculum.

The school also used the name Trump University without the necessary charter under state law to call itself a university, Schneiderman claims.

“More than 5,000 people across the country who paid Donald Trump $40 million to teach them his hard sell tactics got a hard lesson in bait-and-switch,” the attorney general said in filing the lawsuit.

“Mr. Trump used his celebrity status and personally appeared in commercials making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.”

The lawsuit is expected to be in court this month, a spokesman for Schneiderman told Newsday.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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