James’ “Male, Pale & Stale” Comments Could Affect AG Plans

Attorney General Letitia James

If the state legislature names city Public Advocate Letitia James as the interim state attorney general then elderly white male state prosecutors currently working in that office might consider dusting off their resume to look for a new job.

That after James has stated on several occasions that she is tired of male, pale and stale people – a seemingly presumption of prejudice against elderly white males.

James made the statement repeatedly and too much applause at the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus weekend in February. Specifically, she made the statements at the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Breakfast on Feb. 17 in Albany.

“I was appalled when I heard it and I thought it was very inappropriate,” said one black woman attendee, who did not want to give her name for fear of retribution.

Public Advocate Letitia James

James reiterated the startling trifecta of stereotyping, including age, gender and race, on a recent episode of the online media site, The Wrap. In both known instances of James using this phrase she did so in context of advocating for more female empowerment.

The public advocate’s preconceived notions comes as sources say a worker in James office lobbied several state lawmakers from Brooklyn asking for their support in getting her the interim AG job.

The gig opened up  following the bombshell news that former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman – himself an elderly white male – allegedly choked, beat and degraded several women. Schneiderman abruptly resigned, leaving the Democratic controlled state legislature to pick an interim AG until the end of the year when the term is up.

James is a former legal counsel to politicians and a former assistant attorney general, public defender and city council member. According to one media report, a deal was already made with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) for her to become the interim AG, but Heastie said there will be an open process in the next two weeks.

The source said among James’ top lieutenants in the assembly working on her behalf is Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville), a longtime personal, and political friend and ally.

Walker spokesperson Amaris Cockfield said Walker refused comment on whether she had spoken to James or anyone from her office on the matter.

“Assemblywoman Walker expects the next attorney general graces the state with integrity and fairness. Assemblywoman Walker has high hopes that the next attorney general is a woman,” said Cockfield.

A James spokesperson denied that anybody from the public advocate’s office called anybody to lobby for James to become the interim attorney general.

In an emailed statement to reporters earlier today James said she is honored by the encouragement and support she has received concerning her bid to become the interim AG and is considering the best ways to continue serving New York.

“I remain moved by the tremendous courage and bravery that the survivors (of the alleged Schneiderman assaults) who came forward demonstrated, and am reminded that women’s voices are needed more than ever at the highest levels of government and in every corner of our society,” said James.

James’ office refused comment regarding her male, pale and stale comments.