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Spitzer strikes again

New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer says he is after another fat cat - he has filed a civil lawsuit against former New York Stock Exchange CEO Richard Grasso for misleading NYSE directors over his "excessive" pay package.

Spitzer is seeking to recover more than half of Grasso's $187 pay package after agreeing settlements from former NYSE head of human resources Frank Ashen and Mercer Human Resources Consulting, who both admitted to providing "inaccurate and incomplete" information to the board.

The suit is based on the New York state law that requires not-for-profit enterprises to set executive pay at "reasonable" levels. Spitzer is presenting the suit as part of the bigger debate on executive pay and he is urging corporate shareholders and boards to review their own compensation practices.

The suit also names Kenneth Langone, former head of the NYSE compensation committee.