Friday, December 23, 2005

Spitzer hate: "I will be coming after you"

We here are not fans of Gover, I mean Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. He's used the AG's office to bully firms into heavy fines using the threat of prosecution and the resulting deluge of lawsuits without really ever having to step into court. See here, here, here and here.

In today's OpinionJournal, former Goldman, Sachs chairman John Whitehead relates some reprehensible behavior from Spitzer after Whitehead wrote a strongly worded editorial against Spitzer.

Last April, The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by me titled "Mr. Spitzer Has Gone Too Far." In it I expressed my belief that in America, everyone--including Hank Greenberg--is innocent until proven guilty. "Something has gone seriously awry," I wrote, "when a state attorney general can go on television and charge one of America's best CEOs and most generous philanthropists with fraud before any charges have been brought, before the possible defendant has even had a chance to know what he personally is alleged to have done, and while the investigation is still under way."

Since there have been rumors in the media as to what happened next, I feel I must now set the record straight. After reading my op-ed piece, Mr. Spitzer tried to phone me. I was traveling in Texas but he reached me early in the afternoon. After asking me one or two questions about where I got my facts, he came right to the point. I was so shocked that I wrote it all down right away so I would be sure to remember it exactly as he said it. This is what he said:

"Mr. Whitehead, it's now a war between us and you've fired the first shot. I will be coming after you. You will pay the price. This is only the beginning and you will pay dearly for what you have done. You will wish you had never written that letter."

That is conduct unbecoming an Attorney General. and Governor.

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