In 2007, the unexpected happened in New York. The Governor and former Attorney General, known as tough on crime specifically for busting up prostitution rings and corruption on Wall Street – was caught with his pants down. Eliot Spitzer had been involved with a high price prostitute. The high profile Democratic Governor who looked like a potential 2008 candidate – who fell from grace fast.
The prosecuter who led this investigation also led investigations into Republicans and Democrats alike with a broad public corruption initiative which led to probes into the likes of State Senator Efrain Gonzalez (D), former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik (R), two staffers of NYC Council Member Kendall Stewart (D), and Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio. Who is this investigator who is taking down corrupt incumbents? Micheal J. Garcia.
As mentioned in the previous link, “From 1992 to 2001 Garcia was a federal prosecutor with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.” During his tenure, he was awareded the Department of Justice’s Exceptional Service Award twice. Garcia was acting Commissioner of INS from 2002 to 2003 and was appointed by President Bush as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2003. Garcia was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2008. From this post, he took on corruption in New York State Government and elsewhere.
Garcia is now working in the private sector, retiring as US Attorney after Bush left office. Garcia is a hard hitting prosecutor who has faced down terrorists and the bulldozer of a former Governor. Garcia could be a great candidate to challenge Cuomo. He’s taken on corruption from both political parties. He’s a Republican hero for taking down Eliot Spitzer. The fact that he was appointed by Bush could have an impact, but former US Attorney Chris Christie seemed to prove that it does not have to end ones political chances.
Garcia has the experience for the job and has a compelling narrative in the general election as a government corruption buster / terrorist prosecuter. Let’s see if the New York State GOP seeks him out.
Cross posted at Old Line Elephant