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Former Governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki Want NY AG to Stop Pursuing Greenberg

Source: WSJ

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Neilson

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Hank GreenbergNew York Attorney General Eric Schniederman's effort to punish ex-American International Group Inc. chief Hank Greenberg is "morally wrong," say two one-time bitter political rivals, former governors Mario Cuomo and George Pataki, in a co-authored op-ed in Monday's Wall Street Journal.

In late April, Mr. Schneiderman advised the state's highest court that his office is dropping its claim for potentially billions of dollars in damages in the eight-year-old civil-fraud case against Mr. Greenberg. The decision followed a federal judge's approval of a $115 million settlement with shareholders covering the same accounting issues that underpinned the state's case.

But the attorney general's office said it "would continue to seek, among other remedies, several forms of injunctive relief [against Mr. Greenberg], including but not limited to a ban on participation in the securities industry and a ban on serving as an officer or director of a public company."

Messrs Cuomo and Pataki have a message for Mr. Schneiderman: Enough!

They write:

Simply stated, the attorney general office's pursuit of injunctive relief against Mr. Greenberg is a waste of time and money....The continued pursuit of Mr. Greenberg is also morally wrong. From landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day to building one of New York's largest companies, Hank Greenberg has been a patriot who has played a vital role in advancing U.S. interests in global trade and national security. He is one of the country's most generous philanthropists. Even today, he continues those efforts for New York's benefit.

The New York attorney general is charged with administering justice in the state. Given all the critical issues at hand, and the attorney general office's limited resources, the futile pursuit of a dead-end case that should never have been brought isn't a worthwhile endeavor. We call upon the New York attorney general's office to use its powers more wisely, and to move on to more fruitful cases.

A spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman did not respond to a request for comment.