In an interview today, former NYSE chair Dick Grasso told Bloomberg that the total costs of his lawsuit challenging his infamous compensation package maybe be over $100 million. But guess what? He doesn’t care. “What this case is about is honor,” Grasso offered, in what, oddly, sounded like an affected Italian accent. “It’s not about money anymore.” Grasso also told Bloomberg that “What we’re asking for is the right to go to trial, a trial by a jury of my peers, hopefully later this year. Once the whole story is told, my reputation will be vindicated and my case will be over turned.” We’re told that the following is a rough draft of the opening statement Grasso has prepared (to which we’ve added a few notes):
In the hopes of clearing my family name, in the sincere desire to give my children their fair share of the American way of life without a blemish on their name and background. I have appeared before this committee and given it all the cooperation [come on now—you’ve been pretty difficult along the way. Someone (Judge Ramos), and we’re not saying who (Judge Ramos) even told you “you are acting like a petulant child. Do petulant children get to keep $190 million compensation packages? I don’t think so, Mister"] in my power.
I consider my being called before this committee an act of prejudice to all Americans of Italian extraction. [That’s a bit of a stretch] I consider it a great dishonor to me personally to have to deny that I am a criminal. I wish to have the following noted for the record. That I served my country faithfully and honorably in World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for actions in defense of my country. That I have never been arrested or indicted for any crime whatsoever... [what about those DUIs back in the summer of ’71? Do those not count?] that no proof linking me to any criminal conspiracy, whether it is called Mafia or Cosa Nostra or whatever other name you wish to give [“Mafia” is fine], has ever been made public. Only one man has made charges against me, and that man is known to be a murderer, arsonist and rapist. [Really, we think Spitzer might have a problem with this part]
And yet this committee had used this person to besmirch my name. My personal protest can only be made to the people of this country [It’s kind of a stretch to say people in Michigan or Nevada care about this. New York we’ll give you, maybe New Jersey but that’s really all we can offer]. I can only thank God that in this country we have a legal system and courts of law to protect innocent people from wild accusation [Obviously you didn’t follow the OJ trial]. I thank God for our democratic due process of Law that shields me from the false charges made by this committee's witness. I have not taken refuge behind the Fifth Amendment, though counsel advised me to do so.
I challenge this committee to produce any witness or evidence against me, and if they do not, I hope they will have the decency to clear my name with the same publicity with which they have now besmirched it [That could be a tough one, you know Spitzer’s always had a hard time saying “I’m sorry”]. I ask this without malice, in the interests of fair play.