You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2013Disgraced Eliot Spitzer Seeks Return to Public Life

Disgraced Eliot Spitzer Seeks Return to Public Life

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who resigned in disgrace as the result of a prostitution scandal that he said last week was the result of his “urges,” has announced that he will re-enter politics and run for Comptroller of New York City...
July 16, 2013

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York who resigned in disgrace as the result of a prostitution scandal that he said last week was the result of his “urges,” has announced that he will re-enter politics and run for Comptroller of New York City. In an odd twist, one candidate the ex-governor will face is Kristin Davis, the ex-madam who says she supplied him with hookers and who is running on the Libertarian line.

In November 2008, prosecutors in charge of the case announced that Spitzer would not face criminal charges for his involvement in the sex ring, because they found no evidence of misuse of public funds and therefore pressing charges would not serve the public interest.

Beginning in late 2004, Spitzer, then the state attorney general of New York, investigated allegations of bid-rigging and client-steering against a handful of insurers and mega-brokers. Then, together with a few of his fellow Attorneys General, he negotiated supposedly “voluntary” settlement agreements in which they agreed to forgo contingent commissions, without admitting any wrongdoing.

Smearing Main Street Agents

While Professional Insurance Agents were never suspected of any wrongdoing, Spitzer and his allies tried to tarnish Main Street agents with his broad brush. He attempted to use his “voluntary” settlements to bring about an industry-wide ban on contingent commissions, including those received by PIA members. In short, Spitzer wanted Main Street agents to be punished for the suspected wrongdoing of others, when Main Street agents did nothing wrong.

PIA battled this unfair assault led by Mr. Spitzer and his cohorts for the better part of a decade. We took legal action in 2006 to defend PIA members from the onslaught. In the end, the courts agreed with us, ruling that contingent commissions are ethical, not illegal, and not a breach of fiduciary responsibility. We also conducted a major public relations campaign, winning in the court of public opinion.

If you would like to peruse the entire history of PIA’s battles with Eliot Spitzer, click on this link. It will take you to PIA’s complete files, detailing almost 10 years of our fighting – ultimately, successfully – to protect the good name and reputation of all PIA members. Another link is to the brief PIA filed in federal court in which we made our case against Spitzer’s attempts to smear honest Main Street insurance agents. And there’s a recent link to a story about Spitzer blaming his problems on his “urges.” Check it out – all of it makes for very interesting reading.

PIA’s Years of Battles with Eliot Spitzer (complete file)

Spitzer Blames ‘Urges” for Prostitution Scandal (PBS 7/9/13)

Brief of Amicus Curiae
Unites States District Court, District of New Jersey
in opposition to Proposed Class Settlement with Zurich Insurers
National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
(Filed 9/15/2006)

In-Depth Article on Spitzer and PIA’s Brief (Rough Notes Nov. 2006)

Filed under: