Langone attacks Spitzer in a <i>Wall Street Journal</i> op-ed

WASHINGTON: Ken Langone is beginning to fight back.

WASHINGTON: Ken Langone is beginning to fight back.

On Thursday, the former chairman of the New York Stock Exchange compensation committee, published a blistering attack on his nemesis, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Langone said that Spitzer - who is suing Langone and the exchange over the retirement package of its former chairman and CEO - was "accustomed to bullying settlements" but that in this case "his claims were false and his suit will fail."

"We're going to be very aggressive in defending Ken's long track record of integrity," said Jim McCarthy, president of Washington, DC-based McCarthy Communications, which Langone retained about a month ago.

McCarthy added: "We're also going to be pointing out some of the ulterior motives going on here, such as Mr. Spitzer's political ambitions, the arbitrary way he's put this case together, his egregious grandstanding on this. He's flat wrong in this case."

Langone will be doing more outreach "fairly soon," including media interviews, McCarthy added.

Spitzer has "relied on these bullying tactics for so long," McCarthy said, "but my practice is built on standing up to these bullies."

Spitzer's office could not be reached for comment by press time. It has shrugged off allegations of political grandstanding.

And in an e-mail to PRWeek last month, Spitzer communications director Darren Dopp wrote, "We're confident of the facts we marshaled in our case, and we look forward to the trial."

Richard Grasso, the former NYSE head at the center of the dispute, is represented by Starkman & Associates in New York, which declined to discuss its strategy.

Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot, chaired the compensation committee for nearly three years. He left the NYSE board in late 2003.

PREVIOUSLY:

Another NYSE salvo -- on the Financial Times letters page.

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