Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Tarnished Badge of Wall Street’s Sheriff

By Mariya Yudekevich, Rob Abruzzese, Chris Smoudianis & Ysenia Escobar

Workers on Wall Street today gave mixed reviews of Governor Spitzer’s ignominious fall from grace and many were less harsh on him than he was on their colleagues whom he prosecuted vigorously as Attorney General.

“Besides the fact that he contradicted himself, by saying he’d end corruption to win the election, there is nothing wrong with it,” said Chase employee John Pipkin said. “It’s not like he picked up a dirty hooker.”

Spitzer for eight years as the Attorney General was known as “the Sheriff of Wall Street” for his vigorous civil actions against corrupt practices in the financial industry. He also took down two prostitution rings at this time.

Some men working on Wall Street were sympathetic to the Governor.

“He is a regular person, it’s none of our business,” said Ray Anthony, a stock broker. “But he was going after people for the littlest things; now he is in the middle of a prostitution ring.”

“Its hypocrisy, he’s worked on a platform that’s been working on corruption and gets what he deserves,” said Kevin McMann, a banker. “If you are going to be on your high horse, you should be clean.”

“It’s a personal issue,” said Juan Delavalle. “I just want to know, did he use the taxpayer money?”

The women were not as forgiving.

Rose Salah, a stock broker, said that she would spit on him if she saw him walking on the street.

But she expressed sympathy for Spitzer’s wife, Silda. “The statement where he said it is a family issue, it’s not,” she said. “It’s a government issue, and a
New York issue. He was a huge disappointment.”

“He is a disgrace and he should resign,” said Sonia Castaneca, an administrative assistant.

Mayor Bloomberg, no stranger to Wall Street, declined to criticize his neighbor, the Governor, and sidestepped questions about Spitzer’s possible resignation.

“I told him our thoughts were with him and I wished him all the best,” Bloomberg said. “If he ever wanted to talk and wanted my advice, I would be happy to give it to him.”

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