New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer spoke on accountability Friday as part of Meliora Weekend. Dubbed “The People’s Lawyer,” Spitzer discussed recent failures in accountability in government, business and nonprofit organizations.

Member of the Board of Trustees Nancy Lieberman, class of 1977, introduced Spitzer, who spoke for about 40 minutes and answered questions for another 20 minutes afterwards.

“Those who have felt themselves beyond the reach of law or any accountability can be brought back down,” Spitzer said in his speech. “Virtually every governing structure bespeaks the possibility of conflict of interest.”

Spitzer also mentioned Tom Wolfe’s novel “Bonfire of the Vanities,” which deals with “Masters of the Universe.” Wolfe’s book was important for Spitzer – and is one from which others could also learn, he said. According to Spitzer, “there are no ‘Masters of the Universe.'”

“Spitzer’s investigations of conflicts of interest on Wall Street have been the catalyst for dramatic reform in the nation’s financial services industry,” according to his Web site.

After filing lawsuits against Midwest and Mid-Atlantic power plants to reduce pollution and smog in the Northeast, Spitzer has also come to be regarded as an environmentally concerned attorney.

Spitzer has served as New York’s Attorney General since 1999.

Read more about Spitzer at

Additional reporting by Kathleen McGarvey. Yunis can be reached at

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