State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from lawyers at a prominent Manhattan law firm hired by AIG — even as the insurance giant is under investigation by Spitzer’s office.
Between late November and mid-January, Spitzer received $18,500 from 16 different attorneys from the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where the attorney general once worked as an associate, according to state campaign-finance records.
The Paul Weiss firm is representing AIG during a joint investigation by Spitzer, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department and the state Insurance Department into how AIG conducted business.
The Spitzer campaign’s managing director, Cindy Darrison, said the attorney general still has friends and former colleagues at the firm who have consistently donated and helped raise money for him over the years.
But state Republican Chairman Stephen Minarik called it a “clear conflict of interest” that Spitzer would accept donations from a law firm representing a company he is investigating.
“Campaign contributions have no place in an investigation of corporate fraud,” Minarik said.
“Eliot Spitzer’s investigations seem to be more about self-promotion and fattening his campaign coffers than anything else. Maybe after the regulators finish with AIG, they should turn their attention to Eliot Spitzer’s fund-raising schemes. Who is regulating the regulator?”