Starr, the Florida-based investment firm Greenberg runs, called “unlawful and arbitrary” Cuomo’s office’s refusal to release records dating from 2005 submitted by an independent consultant to Cuomo’s office, according to a May 7 filing in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.
“Starr is entitled to these records,” the company said in its court papers, basing its position on the New York Freedom of Information Law. “FOIL imposes a broad duty of disclosure on government agencies.”
Cuomo’s office has a pending lawsuit accusing Greenberg, 84, and former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith of using sham reinsurance deals and other transactions to distort New York-based AIG’s reported financial condition.
Richard Bamberger, a spokesman for Cuomo, didn’t immediately return a call and an e-mail for comment.
Cuomo originally agreed to turn over 124 pages responsive to the request, according to the court papers. Less than a month later, on Nov. 16, 2009, the office changed its position, and said a court had ordered that the records only be provided to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the consultant’s representatives, according to Starr. Cuomo’s office also claimed some of the records also contained “trade secrets” and therefore were exempt from disclosure, Starr said.
Starr appealed and said Cuomo’s office admitted the settlement agreement between the New York attorney General and AIG didn’t contain a promise to keep the reports free from public disclosure.
AIG reached a $1.64 billion settlement with the SEC and then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer in 2006 over claims it misled investors, faked bids and cheated workers’ compensation programs. The company neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. Greenberg, who ran the company for four decades, left in 2005, amid regulatory probes.
The new case is Starr International USA Inc. v. New York State Office of the Attorney General, 150096/2010, New York Supreme Court (Manhattan).
The pending case is New York v. Maurice Greenberg, 401720/2005, New York Supreme Court (Manhattan).
-With assistance from Patricia Hurtado. Editors: John Pickering, Peter Blumberg