N.Y. EXC. LAW § 63 : NY Code - Section 63: General duties

The attorney-general shall:
    1. Prosecute and defend all actions and proceedings in which the state
  is  interested, and have charge and control of all the legal business of
  the departments and bureaus of the state, or of any office thereof which
  requires the services of attorney or counsel, in order  to  protect  the
  interest  of  the  state, but this section shall not apply to any of the
  military department bureaus or military offices of the state. No  action
  or  proceeding affecting the property or interests of the state shall be
  instituted, defended or conducted  by  any  department,  bureau,  board,
  council,  officer,  agency  or  instrumentality  of the state, without a
  notice to the attorney-general apprising  him  of  the  said  action  or
  proceeding,  the  nature and purpose thereof, so that he may participate
  or join therein if in his opinion the interests of the state so warrant.
    2. Whenever required by the governor, attend in person, or by  one  of
  his  deputies,  any term of the supreme court or appear before the grand
  jury thereof for the purpose of managing and conducting in such court or
  before such jury criminal actions or proceedings as shall  be  specified
  in such requirement; in which case the attorney-general or his deputy so
  attending  shall  exercise  all the powers and perform all the duties in
  respect of such actions or  proceedings,  which  the  district  attorney
  would otherwise be authorized or required to exercise or perform; and in
  any  of  such  actions  or  proceedings the district attorney shall only
  exercise such powers and perform such duties as are required of  him  by
  the attorney-general or the deputy attorney-general so attending. In all
  such  cases all expenses incurred by the attorney-general, including the
  salary or other compensation of all deputies employed, shall be a county
    3. Upon request of the  governor,  comptroller,  secretary  of  state,
  commissioner    of    transportation,   superintendent   of   insurance,
  superintendent  of  banks,  commissioner  of   taxation   and   finance,
  commissioner  of  motor vehicles, or the state inspector general, or the
  head of any other department,  authority,  division  or  agency  of  the
  state,  investigate  the alleged commission of any indictable offense or
  offenses in violation of the law which the officer making the request is
  especially required to execute or in relation to any  matters  connected
  with such department, and to prosecute the person or persons believed to
  have  committed  the  same  and any crime or offense arising out of such
  investigation or prosecution or  both,  including  but  not  limited  to
  appearing before and presenting all such matters to a grand jury.
    4.  Cause all persons indicted for corrupting or attempting to corrupt
  any member or member-elect of the legislature, or  the  commissioner  of
  general services, to be brought to trial.
    5.  When  required  by the comptroller or the superintendent of public
  works, prepare  proper  drafts  for  contracts,  obligations  and  other
  instruments for the use of the state.
    6.  Upon receipt thereof, pay into the treasury all moneys received by
  him for debts due or penalties forfeited to the people of the state.
    7. He may, on behalf of the state, agree  upon  a  case  containing  a
  statement  of the facts and submit a controversy for decision to a court
  of record which would have jurisdiction of an action brought on the same
  case. He may agree that a referee, to be appointed in an action to which
  the state is a party, shall receive such compensation at such  rate  per
  day  as the court in the order of reference may specify. He may with the
  approval of the governor retain counsel to recover  moneys  or  property
  belonging  to  the  state,  or  to  the possession of which the state is
  entitled, upon an agreement that such counsel shall  receive  reasonable
  compensation,  to  be fixed by the attorney-general, out of the property
  recovered, and not otherwise.

    8. Whenever in his judgment  the  public  interest  requires  it,  the
  attorney-general  may,  with  the  approval  of  the  governor, and when
  directed by the governor, shall, inquire  into  matters  concerning  the
  public peace, public safety and public justice. For such purpose he may,
  in  his  discretion,  and without civil service examination, appoint and
  employ, and at  pleasure  remove,  such  deputies,  officers  and  other
  persons  as  he  deems  necessary,  determine their duties and, with the
  approval of the governor, fix their compensation. All appointments  made
  pursuant  to  this  subdivision  shall  be  immediately  reported to the
  governor, and shall not be  reported  to  any  other  state  officer  or
  department.  Payments  of  salaries  and  compensation  of  officers and
  employees and of the expenses of the inquiry shall be made out of  funds
  provided  by the legislature for such purposes, which shall be deposited
  in a bank or trust  company  in  the  names  of  the  governor  and  the
  attorney-general,   payable   only   on   the  draft  or  check  of  the
  attorney-general, countersigned by the governor, and such  disbursements
  shall   be   subject  to  no  audit  except  by  the  governor  and  the
  attorney-general. The attorney-general, his deputy,  or  other  officer,
  designated  by  him,  is  empowered  to subpoena witnesses, compel their
  attendance, examine them under oath before himself or a  magistrate  and
  require  that  any  books,  records,  documents  or  papers  relevant or
  material  to  the  inquiry  be  turned  over  to  him  for   inspection,
  examination or audit, pursuant to the civil practice law and rules. If a
  person  subpoenaed to attend upon such inquiry fails to obey the command
  of a subpoena without reasonable cause, or if  a  person  in  attendance
  upon such inquiry shall, without reasonable cause, refuse to be sworn or
  to  be  examined  or to answer a question or to produce a book or paper,
  when ordered so to do by the officer conducting such inquiry,  he  shall
  be guilty of a misdemeanor. It shall be the duty of all public officers,
  their  deputies,  assistants and subordinates, clerks and employees, and
  all other persons, to render and furnish to  the  attorney-general,  his
  deputy  or other designated officer, when requested, all information and
  assistance in their possession and within their power.  Each  deputy  or
  other officer appointed or designated to conduct such inquiry shall make
  a  weekly  report  in  detail  to  the  attorney-general,  in form to be
  approved by the governor and the attorney-general, which report shall be
  in duplicate, one copy of which shall be forthwith, upon its receipt  by
  the  attorney-general,  transmitted  by him to the governor. Any officer
  participating in such inquiry and any person examined as a witness  upon
  such inquiry who shall disclose to any person other than the governor or
  the attorney-general the name of any witness examined or any information
  obtained  upon  such  inquiry, except as directed by the governor or the
  attorney-general, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    9. Bring and prosecute  or  defend  upon  request  of  the  industrial
  commissioner  or the state division of human rights, any civil action or
  proceeding, the institution or defense  of  which  in  his  judgment  is
  necessary  for  effective  enforcement of the laws of this state against
  discrimination by reason of age, race, creed, color or national  origin,
  or for enforcement of any order or determination of such commissioner or
  division made pursuant to such laws.
    10.  Prosecute  every person charged with the commission of a criminal
  offense  in  violation  of  any  of  the  laws  of  this  state  against
  discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin, in any
  case  where  in his judgment, because of the extent of the offense, such
  prosecution cannot be effectively carried on by the district attorney of
  the county wherein the offense or a portion thereof is alleged  to  have
  been  committed,  or  where  in  his  judgment the district attorney has
  erroneously failed or refused to prosecute. In all such proceedings, the

  attorney-general may appear in person or  by  his  deputy  or  assistant
  before  any  court  or  any  grand  jury and exercise all the powers and
  perform all the duties in respect of such actions or  proceedings  which
  the  district  attorney  would  otherwise  be  authorized or required to
  exercise or perform.
    11. Prosecute and defend all actions  and  proceedings  in  connection
  with  safeguarding  and  enforcing the state's remainder interest in any
  trust which meets the requirements of subparagraph two of paragraph  (b)
  of  subdivision  two  of  section  three hundred sixty-six of the social
  services law.
    12. Whenever any person shall engage in repeated fraudulent or illegal
  acts or otherwise demonstrate persistent  fraud  or  illegality  in  the
  carrying on, conducting or transaction of business, the attorney general
  may  apply,  in  the name of the people of the state of New York, to the
  supreme court of the state of New York, on notice of five days,  for  an
  order  enjoining  the  continuance  of  such business activity or of any
  fraudulent or illegal acts, directing restitution and damages and, in an
  appropriate case, cancelling any certificate filed under and  by  virtue
  of  the provisions of section four hundred forty of the former penal law
  or section one hundred thirty of the general business law, and the court
  may award the relief applied for or so  much  thereof  as  it  may  deem
  proper.  The  word  "fraud" or "fraudulent" as used herein shall include
  any  device,  scheme  or  artifice  to  defraud   and   any   deception,
  misrepresentation,   concealment,  suppression,  false  pretense,  false
  promise or unconscionable contractual provisions. The  term  "persistent
  fraud"  or  "illegality"  as  used  herein  shall include continuance or
  carrying on of any fraudulent  or  illegal  act  or  conduct.  The  term
  "repeated"  as  used herein shall include repetition of any separate and
  distinct fraudulent or illegal act, or conduct which affects  more  than
  one person.
    In  connection  with  any  such  application,  the attorney general is
  authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant  facts
  and  to  issue  subpoenas  in accordance with the civil practice law and
  rules. Such authorization shall not abate or terminate by reason of  any
  action or proceeding brought by the attorney general under this section.
    13.  Prosecute  any  person for perjury committed during the course of
  any investigation conducted by the attorney-general pursuant to statute.
  In all such proceedings, the attorney-general may appear in person or by
  his deputy or assistant before any court or any grand jury and  exercise
  all  the  powers  and perform all the duties necessary or required to be
  exercised or performed in prosecuting any such person for such offense.
    15. In any case where the attorney general has authority to  institute
  a civil action or proceeding in connection with the enforcement of a law
  of   this  state,  in  lieu  thereof  he  may  accept  an  assurance  of
  discontinuance of any act or practice in violation of such law from  any
  person  engaged  or  who  has  engaged  in  such  act  or practice. Such
  assurance may include a stipulation for the  voluntary  payment  by  the
  alleged  violator  of the reasonable costs and disbursements incurred by
  the attorney general during the course of his investigation. Evidence of
  a violation of such assurance shall  constitute  prima  facie  proof  of
  violation  of  the  applicable  law  in  any  civil action or proceeding
  thereafter commenced by the attorney general.