Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Pitt vs. Spitzer

"Eliot Spitzer is New York's AG, and you know what that stands for - Aspiring Governor."

And with that quip, Harvey Pitt comes out swinging. According to John Crudele's column, the former Chairman of the SEC has quite a bit to say about Elliot Spitzer.

Mr. Pitt apparently shares the views of many commentators, myself included, about Mr. Spitzer's use of his office, his work on the Merrill Lynch Research case, and the Grasso case. And none of his views are flattering.

"Eliot Spitzer isn't really concerned about public investors," Pitt continued. "He's concerned about moving on to higher public office." And, says Pitt, he's using big companies as "whipping boys."

Pitt says that Spitzer "extracted" a huge settlement from Merrill Lynch and then put the money into the state coffers rather than return it to investors. "Why? Because he wasn't concerned about investors," said Pitt.

The Grasso case is one of my favorite Spitzer peeves (and I have quite a few). Putting aside the merits of the case, he is using his public office, and public funds, to pursue a private case that benefits a private entity. There is no public benefit to the lawsuit, so why is he using taxpayer dollars to pursue it?

Mr. Pitt:
I have very strong concerns about what the motivation of (the Grasso) case is," says Pitt. Spitzer "is expending a great amount of public resources to effectively pursue an issue which is by and large a private dispute. I think there are a lot better things he can spend his time on, although they might not be as newsworthy."

Newsworthy? Headlines? Oh, I thought he was pursuing the rights of the people of the State of New York.
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