Statement By The Office Of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer

A story in the New York Times today indicating that Attorney General Spitzer will "cede investigations to federal authorities" is wrong. Mr. Spitzer never said this, and the notion that he would do so is absurd.

This story badly mischaracterizes recent comments by Mr. Spitzer on the relationship between state and federal regulators. It suggests that the attorney general has somehow altered his views on the role of his office in confronting corporate fraud. This is simply not true.

In response to reporters' questions about enforcement actions in the New Year, Mr. Spitzer noted that federal authorities, specifically the SEC, have become much more active, and, as a result, it would be less likely that states would have to take the lead or act alone in confronting new problems. He noted this as a positive development.

This was not and is not an indication that the attorney general's office will be any less vigilant in enforcing the law and protecting consumers. It merely cites the reemergence of certain federal regulators as a more aggressive force in confronting corporate wrongdoing.

Mr. Spitzer's comments should not be viewed as an indication that the attorney general's office will withdraw from any area where it is now involved or turn ongoing cases over to federal authorities. To the contrary, Mr. Spitzer believes that with the possible exception of the SEC, the current administration in Washington is not as aggressive as it should be in protecting consumers and the environment. That is why the attorney general always reserves the right to act aggressively and independently to protect the interests of New Yorkers. That is what he has done for the last six years and that is what he will continue to do.

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