Mr. Cuomo, who succeeded Eliot Spitzer as the state's top lawyer and is now the Democratic nominee for governor of New York, is widely credited with having built impressively on Mr. Spitzer's considerable prosecutorial legacy: he recruited top-flight lawyers, like Steven M. Cohen, a former federal prosecutor, and pointed them at cases meant to protect consumers of all kinds, from New Yorkers hounded by unscrupulous debt collectors to college students ill served by the cozy relationships between educational institutions and lenders.
Mr. Cuomo's office also prosecuted one of the most significant public corruption cases in recent state history, exposing and winning the convictions of many of those caught up in a pay-to-play scheme involving millions of dollars of the state's public pension funds.
But the praise is neither universal nor complete, and there are many who assert that Mr. Cuomo has, not unlike his predecessor, been more interested in headlines than in undertaking the tedious chores needed to bring lasting reform, and that he has mishandled, sidestepped or prolonged some public integrity cases.
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