Langone on Spitzer: 'I Don't Think He's Learned a Thing'
Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer hasn’t learned a thing from his recent ordeals and has destroyed as much value as anybody else in America, Kenneth Langone, former director of the New York Stock Exchange, told CNBC Tuesday.
“The most distressing thing about what I saw last week was I don’t think he’s learned a thing … I can only imagine how tormented he is. He’s a pathetic soul,” Langone told CNBC.
The comments came in response to Spitzer's comments on "Squawk Box" last week and it in the wake of Spitzer's return to public life following his prostitution scandal.
Langone and Spitzer have been at odds aver since Spitzer tried to claw back more than $100 million in pay from the New York Stock Exchange’s former Chairman Richard Grasso.
“Every nickel that Dick (Grasso) got reflected 37 or 36 years of service. The reason he got so much was they had this plan in place that was before we got there and the accumulation of credit drove that number,” Langone said.
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Spitzer claimed the payment was too much for a not-for-profit organization to issue and told CNBC last week it was “one of the most egregious examples of corporate pay abuse that I’ve ever seen.”
The civil lawsuit also named Langone during its four-month probe over Grasso's pay, which eventually saw the NYSE change its not-for-profit status.
"We won a summary judgment that said (Grasso) had to pay back $100 million. Then they appealed, saying we have the exchange converted to a not-for-profit to a for-profit status and since we're for profit you don't have jurisdiction," Sptizer told CNBC.
In response Tuesday, Langone said that Spitzer’s pursuit of justice was perverted. He also said that the legal expenses associated with case were in the region of $80 million.
“I heard he’s getting ready to run (for office) again, if he is, I think he ought to be forthright with the public and say here’s everything about me you should know,” Langone said.
“If he’s into repentance, let him go off and work in a soup kitchen one day a week. The tragedy is, he was born on third base and he thought he hit a triple, it’s that simple,” Langone added.