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Is Carlyle Shady? Cuomo Says There Are “Gradations of Wrongdoing”

If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering: “Why does Carlyle Group get to pay its way out of the New York Common pay-to-play scandal, while Saul Meyer and Aldus Equity face criminal charges? And why has Carlyle’s partner, Riverstone, yet to be charged?” Wonder no more.

At a press conference outside his office this afternoon, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo told reporters that future investigations with other entities, Riverstone included, are ongoing. He said a case against Riverstone is in the works, but wouldn’t say whether the firm would be slapped with a criminal or civil case.

When asked, “Why Aldus but not Carlyle?” he said his office was looking at different facts and roles for each individual party. “There are gradations of wrongdoing,” he said, pointing out that Riverstone is in the wrong, and that Carlyle bears responsibility as a partner (by just a few shades). Does Carlyle’s $20 million payment signal an admission of guilt? Does it mean Carlyle was in the wrong (which the firm has vehemently denied)? Cuomo smoothly said his office neither affirms or denies Carlyle’s culpability.

There are a few questions that didn’t get answered: What’s doing to happen with Quadrangle? No real answer.

Why don’t these reforms apply to the pension funds as well? His “conduct code” solution to this so-called “intersection of government and corporate corruption” sure seems to punish the corporate side more than the government side. No real answer there either.

Will New York State terminate its relationship with third parties like Hamilton Lane? No chance to ask.

Will this investigation extend beyond New York? “Whatever is fastest and most efficient.”