Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to keep as far away as possible from the corruption scandal engulfing State Senator Malcolm Smith and others.
Schneiderman announced Thursday that's he's taking more than $100,000 worth of campaign contributions he got from a Rockland County couple and giving it to charity. The couple, Esther and Joseph Markowitz, have had their names connected to the case against Smith, City Councilman Daniel Halloran and others. The couple has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
At issue is $4,000 in donations the couple made to Halloran on Sept. 28, 2012. Those donations came the day after the FBI alleges Halloran received contribution checks from straw donors. A man who answered the phone at the Markowitz residence on Thursday hung up on a reporter.
Records show the Markowtiz's donated more than $100,000 to Schneiderman. His office on Thursday said he will give away the money out of "an abundance of caution."
The move also gets out in front of a possible headache for the Attorney General whose name has been linked in media reports to the alleged cooperating witness in the case. Schneiderman's office confirmed the alleged witness is a supporter but downplayed his role in the Attorney General's campaign.
Schneiderman will donate the contributions to a charity helping victims of Sandy.