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$1 million bid for Spitzer access

Jacob Gershman in yesterday's New York Sun, on a lucrative offer declined:

A company under investigation by Eliot Spitzer's office last year offered one of the attorney general's closest friends, Lloyd Constantine, $1 million to attend a single meeting with Mr. Spitzer in the hopes that his last-minute intervention would lead to a lower settlement, Mr. Constantine said.

Mr. Constantine, a prominent antitrust lawyer and former law partner of Mr. Spitzer's, outright refused the [unnamed] firm's extraordinary offer, which took place in mid-2005, he said. The offer was made "right before" a large settlement was announced between the firm and Mr. Spitzer's office....

With Mr. Constantine, who has donated the legal maximum of $50,100 to Mr. Spitzer's gubernatorial campaign, the company was seeking no ordinary access.

The two lawyers have known each other since 1982 when Mr. Spitzer was serving as an intern in the New York attorney general's office, where Mr. Constantine was in charge of antitrust enforcement. Mr. Spitzer was a founding partner of Mr. Constantine's boutique antitrust law firm, and he tapped him to lead his transition team after he was elected attorney general in 1998. They are also longtime tennis partners.

More on Mr. Constantine at Overlawyered, here and here.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.