Andrew Cuomo: The Civil Attorney General

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Let's take a moment to applaud New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Although his recent investigations of Wall Street has drawn comparisons to his predecessor Eliot Spitzer, the two men couldn't be more different in style and substance, as Nicole Gelinas points out in City Journal.
Start with his relationship with the media. Spitzer liked to cast himself and the media as heroes and muckrakers battling the villains of Wall Street. His press conferences were dramatic affairs. He and his lieutenants leaked profligately about the alleged msideeds, professional and personal, of the targets of their investigations.
Andrew Cuomo, on the other hand, has taken what Gelinas describes as "a refreshing approach to Wall Street's new round of misdeeds." His press conferences are understated, "just the facts, mam" affairs. He speaks mostly through official spokespeople, who talk on the record. The few leaks that spring from his office focus on the professional conduct of the subjects of his investigations rather than salacious personal details.
More importantly, Cuomo has quietly filed civil cases and won investor restitution in contrast to Spitzer's default mode of seeking criminal prosecution. "While criminal prosecution has its place in the markets, wronged investors are often better served by financial recovery through civil action than by empty revenge; and markets are better served by careful fact-finding and disclosure than by heated rhetoric," Gelinas writes.
Andrew Cuomo's Civil Approach [City Journal]

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