Monday, January 1, 2007

The Changing of the Guard -Spitzer and Cuomo

Not surprisingly, Eliot Spitzer's website as N.Y.'s 54th Governor is up and running, and his inaugural address touching on an ethics agenda was noted by the NYTimes. In his final days as Attorney General he settled the MetLife case to the tune of 19 million dollars. The press release notes that:

"The agreement settled allegations by the Attorney General of deceptive practices in the sale of group insurance products, arising out of MetLife’s use of 'contingent commissions' or 'overrides' to reward brokers who induced their clients to purchase insurance from the company. MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States, selling one in every five group policies purchased."

But another interesting change in the guard also occurred.  And that is that Andrew Cuomo took over as the 64th Attorney General of New York.  His transition team was an impressive list of individuals related to the legal arena, with its chair being Robert Abrams, a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. Abrams served as the New York Attorney General  from 1978-1994. The team represented a wealth of knowledge, diversity, and understanding of the important issues of this office (e.g., Julian Bond, Barry Scheck, and Mary J White). The team had goals of  attracting "top-flight talent to join the staff currently serving in the Office of the Attorney General and to suggest initiatives and ideas to help protect the needs and interests of all New Yorkers."  And the appointments so far are impressive.  It will be interesting to see if Cuomo moves in a direction different than what was taken by his predecessor.


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