What is former Governor Eliot Spitzer to do now that his CNN show has been axed? Why, fight a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit, natch!
Two former Marsh & McLennan Co. executives, who had insurance-fraud charges against them dropped, sued for the former Attorney General and his publishers at the Slate Group at the end of last week, claiming that they had been defamed in an August 22, 2010 article Spitzer wrote for Slate called "They Still Don't Get It." Though it currently appears that neither was actually named in the article.
William Gilman argues that Spitzer, whose column was in response to a Wall Street Journal editorial, made it appear that he had committed crimes. In a separate suit Edward McNenney, another former Marsh exec, filed suit against Spitzer for similar defamations. In 2004 Spitzer, as Attorney General, announced investigations against practices at the Marsh & McLennan. Gilman was indicted in 2005 on 37 counts and was convicted of one charge of restraint of trade and competition—but a judge later threw that conviction out. The pertinent bit in the Slate story is the fifth paragraph.
Gilman is seeking at least $60 million in damages in the federal suit, while McNenney is seeking $30 million in a state suit. The Slate Group isn't commenting yet, while Spitzer told Bloomberg that he hasn't "seen the lawsuit and so will not comment on it." However, he adds, "the illegalities rampant at Marsh & McLennan leading to their fine of $850 million and the multiple judicial findings of illegality are clear from the public record."