This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Spitzer Fumbles in Red Zone

Of course, that's not how Spitzer saw it on Feb. 3, 2004, when he had Flynn arrested outside of his Westchester County, N.Y., home. A press release issued at the time of the arrest was high on moral rhetoric.

"This prosecution sends the message that those who arrange funding for illegal trading will be held accountable, as are those who make the trades," said Spitzer, in a press release announcing the arrest.

Twenty-one months later, the only prosecution Flynn faces is on civil fraud charges filed against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission. A Spitzer spokesman said the New York attorney general might also move to file his own civil charges against Flynn, but at this time, none are pending.

Either way, securities lawyers say Spitzer's handling of the Flynn case sets a poor example for government regulators.

"Government lawyers, in my opinion, have a higher ethical duty to make sure that their cases are well-founded in fact and in law,'' says Derek Meisner, an attorney with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in Boston and a former senior SEC enforcement attorney.

Jacob Zamanksy, a New York attorney who usually represents investors in disputes with Wall Street brokers, says the Flynn case bears out what many have long suspected about Spitzer: that his cases often fall apart if pushed to the limit.

"There seems to be a big gap between Spitzer bringing charges and what he actually is able to produce as a lawyer,'' says Zamansky. "If you are going to bring charges, you better be able to prove it.''

Bill Singer, a securities lawyer in New York, says the dismissal in the Flynn case will rekindle a debate about Spitzer's tactics and allegations that he uses heavy-handed tactics to force defendants to either reach a civil settlement or plead guilty. In particular, he says many continue to object to Spitzer's frequent use of press conferences to browbeat defendants until he gets what he wants.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,769.93 -110.43 -0.65%
S&P 500 1,954.27 -15.80 -0.80%
NASDAQ 4,424.4530 -38.4490 -0.86%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs