NYC
07/12/2013 09:10 pm ET Updated Jul 12, 2013

Eliot Spitzer Sued By Hank Greenberg, Former AIG CEO, For Defamation

AP

One of Eliot Spitzer's old Wall Street adversaries has slapped him with a lawsuit just as the former New York governor is trying to mount his political comeback.

Former American International Group CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg is suing Spitzer for defamation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The suit was filed in New York State Supreme court a day after Spitzer filed enough signatures to earn a spot on the ballot in the New York City comptroller's race. It accuses Spitzer of mounting “a long-standing malicious campaign ... to discredit Mr. Greenberg and damage Mr. Greenberg’s reputation and career, while attempting to bolster Mr. Spitzer’s own reputation and career,” according to the Daily News.

Spitzer said in a statement that the lawsuit is "frivolous," and promised to discuss the relevant facts in the coming days.

During his time as New York Attorney General, Spitzer developed a reputation for being tough on the financial industry, earning the nickname "the sheriff of Wall Street."

Greenberg was forced to resign from his position at AIG in 2005 after Spitzer sued him for fraud.

Spitzer announced his plans to run for comptroller on July 7, his first bid for political office since he stepped down from his role governor in 2008 amid reports that he frequented prostitutes.

This isn't the first time Spitzer has been sued for defamation. In 2011, a former executive at the insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan sued Spitzer over a Slate column he wrote about Wall Street's role in the financial crisis. (Spitzer had previously gone after Marsh & McLennan on allegations of fraud during his time as attorney general.)

Federal judge J. Paul Oetken dismissed the charges the year after, stating in his opinion about the case that the article was about financial crimes broadly and was therefore protected by the First Amendment.

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