Martin Joel Erzinger, who manages more than $1 billion in assets for Morgan Stanley in Denver, is being accused only of a misdemeanor for allegedly driving his Mercedes into a cyclist and then fleeing the scene, Colorado’s Vail Daily reports. The victim, Dr. Steven Milo, whom Erzinger allegedly hit in July, suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and, according to his lawyer Harold Haddon, “lifetime pain.”
But District Attorney Mark Hurlbert says it wouldn’t be wise to prosecute Erzinger — doing so might hurt his source of income. Here’s Vail Daily:
“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you’re talking about restitution, you don’t want to take away his ability to pay.””We have talked with Mr. Haddon and we had their objections, but ultimately it’s our call,” Hurlbert said.
Milo, who lives in New York City with his wife and kids, is furious about the dropped charges, Vail Daily says. The doctor’s line of work, like Erzinger’s, has been threatened by the incident. “His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession — liver transplant surgery — has been seriously jeopardized,” Haddon, Milo’s lawyer, said. Here’s Milo, from the Vail Daily:
“Mr. Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,” Milo wrote. “Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.”
Reuters’ Felix Salmon compares the dropped charges to the kind of financial invulnerability that bankers felt in the years leading up to the financial crisis: