The New York Post has a salacious story about Alisha Smith, a lawyer with the New York attorney general’s office, who is a dominatrix in her private life. Frankly, many of the skills honed by being a domme probably come in handy in litigation (such as knowing exactly how much pain and humiliation to administer when).
The problem isn’t with her having a kinky private life per se; it is the allegation by the Post that she may have gotten paid for performing at S&M parties. Smith makes all of $78,825 a year and the policy of the state AG’s office is for staff to obtain prior approval of any activity which will earn them more than $1,000. The Post presented its allegations about Smith, who was hired by Andrew Cuomo and played an important role in a securities fraud case that led to a $5 billion settlement by Bank of America. She has been suspended without pay as the AG conducts an investigation.
After l’affaire Spitzer, readers in comments have repeatedly noted that Schneiderman had better be squeaky clean since he would be targeted by private investigators, as Spitzer clearly was. This Post “story” looks to have been the result of private investigators going after Schneiderman’s staff, with the intent of intimidating them and embarrassing and discrediting him. This report is even less specific than the one the Post filed on the maid who accused Dominique Strauss-Kahn of rape and clearly came from private investigators in the employ of DSK. And those sensationalistic charges, that she was a hooker, that the union had placed her in the hotel and had some sort of profit sharing arrangement, that she was turning tricks while under protective custody, all appear to have been fabrications (they initially sounded plausible because they were detailed, but the maid is suing the Post for defamation, and a source has indicated that there is no evidence that she was a prostitute).
The claim here is, as with DSK, from a single source, and a mere assertion:
Alisha Smith, 36, who dresses demurely as a buttoned-down prosecutor, turns up the heat when she becomes perky persecutor “Alisha Spark,” a nom de dom she uses when she performs at S&M events for pay, according to a fetish source.
“They pay her to go to the events. She dominates people, restrains them and whips them,” the fetish source said.
Now it may be true that she was paid, but performing at S&M events does not necessarily mean she IS paid (by happenstance, I know someone people who have been involved in this subculture, and being a very nosy consultant, I had to debrief them. Yes, there are S&M events/gatherings where the “act” performs for fun. Remember, some people are exhibitionists). The proof of the pudding will be whether she is reinstated.
Tom Adams, an attorney and consultant who has been involved in mortgage litigation, wrote:
Not to be paranoid, but this story is almost certainly the result of a private investigator digging for dirt on the NY AG’s office.
The Post conveniently omits any reference in the story about where the reporters learned about this woman’s activities. Also, it is not at all a coincidence that she worked on Cuomo’s BofA settlement. It seems likely that Schneiderman had her working on his new securitization cases since she had experience.
The Post plays coy about where they got the information from, they cite an anonymous “friend” (probably the investigator himself) and they provide some key bits of Internet confirmation (Twitter, Facebook, etc) which may or may not have been hacked.
Oddly, I saw a similar “outing” of a dominatrix 2 years ago. Yet she was a complete sidelight to the true target of the investigators: her husband, who was active in politics and fighting some banks on foreclosure of several properties in the Hamptons. I had suspected then that the investigators were hired by the banks who then turned the information to the Post and the police, who busted the husband and the wife (for being a dominatrix? I’m not even sure why now other than humiliation).
I’m sure this story about this poor woman is just a warning shot to Schneiderman. It means they are working on him and he can expect to see more of these stories.
It’s hard to see how Schneiderman can protect his staff from this sort of search for dirt. And if Smith is vindicated, she can’t sue the Post and continue in her day job (the time demands and the exposure both argue against it). So if the claim that she is taking money proves to be scurrilous, the Post and its sources are unlikely to suffer for releasing this hit job.