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Even if a person is judged innocent in the end, this kind of lawsuit destroys an individual’s reputation.   The headlines that ensue, the accusations, the state publicizing its case all work against one.  There should be rules about how attorneys general proceed in such instances, but there aren’t and probably never will be.  Ambitious officers of the state have filed high-profile suits in the past to advance their reputations and gotten away with the injustice of doing so.  Think of Eliot Spitzer.  I have no idea whether Mr. Rattner is guilty or innocent of the charges against him, but I do know that this suit will follow him for the rest of his career.

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