Greenberg Seeks Ethics Probe of AG, Spokesmen

, New York Law Journal


Former American International Group executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg is asking for a state ethics investigation of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and two spokesmen, alleging they violated the public officers law in making public comments about a separate ethics complaint.

Greenberg, who for eight years has frustrated attempts to bring him to trial on civil fraud charges, recently lodged a complaint with the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) accusing the chief prosecutor, David Ellenhorn, of ethical violations. Greenberg contends that Ellenhorn made misleading and inaccurate statements in court about his business plans and unethically accepted an airplane ride from attorney David Boies. Boies, of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, is representing Greenberg in the main case. David Grandeau of Niskayuna is representing Greenberg and Smith in the ethics complaint.

According to the complaint submitted Monday, Schneiderman and spokesmen Damien LaVera and Matt Mittenthal inappropriately commented on the Ellenhorn complaint.

"Repondents' overall press strategy involves making bombastic and materially misleading statements," Greenberg says in the complaint, accusing the officials of "a transparent attempt to punish" him and his codefendant, former AIG executive Howard Smith, "for exercising their right to file a complaint."

Schneiderman's office declined to respond.

Greenberg's ethics complaint is among several pending matters ancillary to the main case. He is also suing former Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who initiated the case, for libel and has accused the trial judge, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos, of bias.

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