Attorney general candidate a former Spitzer no2

By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – One of five Democrats running to be New York state’s top prosecutor, Eric Dinallo called himself uniquely qualified on Thursday to enforce laws on Wall Street as the battered financial industry adjusts to a post credit-crunch world.

Dinallo, 47, told Reuters that as attorney general he would use his experience working in state agencies to make Wall Street more transparent in the long-term, and to put an end to the “unending conflicts of interest” he says have paralyzed state government.

Next Tuesday’s primary election will determine which of the five Democrats will face Dan Donovan, the lone Republican in the race, in the November 2 general election.

The once relatively obscure attorney general post grew to national prominence when Eliot Spitzer and then Andrew Cuomo used the job to aggressively prosecute securities fraud, insider trading and other Wall Street abuses.

Dinallo, a lawyer, served as Spitzer’s right hand man when he was attorney general. Dinallo later headed the state’s Insurance Department.

Spitzer used the office to become governor in 2006 and Cuomo, the current attorney general, is the front-runner for governor. Dinallo doesn’t consider himself a politician and said he would be satisfied to run what he called “the most important enforcement agency in the country right now.”

When he worked for Spitzer, Dinallo said, federal regulators were inattentive and missed monumental Wall Street fraud, leaving room for the state attorney general to gain national credibility by bringing cases against big companies.

DIFFERENT KIND OF WALL STREET

Dinallo said the attorney general’s role will evolve as Wall Street companies “move from highly leveraged markets based profiteering, to more of a fee-based culture.”

“That’s inevitably going to make the Attorney General’s office even more important because the policing of the interrelatedness of consumers on financial products and Wall Street is where the money is going to be made,” he said.

“Washington will inevitably drift as regulators do,” he warned, which is why the attorney general’s office needs to “police those major issues.”

Watching Wall Street is not his sole priority, he said, and if elected he would ask the governor to name him public integrity prosecutor to attack outside business interests and fraud that have crippled the legislature.

Dinallo describes himself as a “nerd, nerd, nerd,” having studied philosophy in college before embarking on a legal career in which the need for public speaking forced him to overcome stuttering.

He said he has $1.6 million on hand to spend ahead of next week’s primary, but some of the other candidates have raised far more.

(Editing by Daniel Trotta)

Attorney general candidate a former Spitzer no2