Monday, October 3, 2005

Langone: Spitzer has a "Boondoggle of a Case"

Ken Langone, the former head of the NYSE compensation committee, has published an Op-Ed piece in the Wall Street Journal blasting Spitzer. You will need to register with wsj.com, but the piece is worth reading, since we rarely get to see the defense side of a public case, and if Langone is right, Spitzer does not have a case.

Langone claims that depositions in the case have established that he did nothing wrong, and that the case should be dropped. He also repeats earlier comments and questions, asking why the NYS Attorney General is using public funds to prosecute a case to benefit a private entity. (If Spitzer wins the case, the money recovered goes to the NYSE, not the taxpayers of New York)("while his office recently said it is low on funds to pursue Medicaid fraud, he is devoting multiple lawyers to this case -- which will benefit the state not one nickel").

Some other quotes:

"New Yorkers know when their tax dollars are being squandered. They also know what a bully looks like and how to treat one. Mr. Spitzer may be a little lightheaded from all the puff-and-fluff coverage the media give him, but voters could soon deliver a reality check at the ballot box."

"The reliability of Mr. Spitzer's judgment, especially in light of the facts in this case, should be an issue of prime concern when those votes are cast. But he also has a troubling method of making loud legal threats, strong-arming witnesses, and intimidating boards and companies into destructive concessions. Of course, my confidence rests mainly in an impartial court where a fair judge will let the facts stand on their own. Coercing settlements through fear, as anyone can see, is far different from delivering justice."

Langone has had some choice words regarding this suit in the past. Earlier this year Fortune quoted him as saying "I'm nuts, I'm rich, and boy, do I love a fight. I'm going to make them sh*t in their pants. When I get through with these f**king captains of industry, they're going to wish they were in a Cuisinart at high speed."
[explicative deleted].
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