Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

It wasn’t exactly the O.K. Corral yesterday and no shots were exchanged, but attorney general candidates Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan) and Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice were slinging barbs over Schneiderman’s job as a Berkshire County, Mass. deputy sheriff after he graduated from college.

Rice contends Schneiderman lied at a recent candidates’ debate when he said as a deputy sheriff he ran a drug treatment program.

"The question is simple: Did Deputy Sheriff Schneiderman really run a drug program?” Rice spokesman Eric Phillips asked yesterday via press release. “He says he did, while public records and his campaign spokesman say he didn't. Which is the truth?"

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Rice attack came after a City Hall News story yesterday questioned whether he Schneiderman actually ran the drug program. Schneiderman went by his middle name, Tradd, at the time.

Yesterday, Schneiderman spokesman James Freedland, said the AG candidate was an administrator of the program, writing grants and identifying sources of funding.

"Hurling false, reckless accusations to benefit her own political aspirations says more about Ms. Rice and the kind of Attorney General she'd be than it does about anyone else,” said James Freedland, noting the war of words began after the New York Times endorsed Schneiderman last weekend.

Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen Massimiano said in a prepared statement: “When I took office on December 28th, 1978, Mr. Schneiderman was a Deputy Sheriff on the staff of the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, Jail and House of Correction...he was instrumental in forming the first comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment program at the jail and house of correction.”