NU Online News Service, Dec. 29, 2004, 11:30 a.m. EST

New York State’s Attorney General denies a report that he plans to cede investigations of financial service industry practices to the federal government.[@@]

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer took issue with a report in Sunday’s New York Times that implied he would yield to federal authorities in investigations of insurance brokerage fees and other financial practices.

“Mr. Spitzer never said this, and the notion that he would do so is absurd,” his office said in a statement.

Spitzer said a Times reporter had mischaracterized his comment that federal authorities such as the Securities and Exchange Commission had become more active in investigating allegations of improper financial practices.

“The office has many active investigations that will be pursued as aggressively as ever,” the statement said. “Several significant developments will occur early in the New Year that will again demonstrate that this office is a national leader in protecting the interests of investors and consumers.”