18 questions for Martin Erzinger

By Felix Salmon
December 31, 2010
comment on my post about Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge.

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M Schuler of Colorado leaves a blistering comment on my post about Martin Erzinger, the Morgan Stanley broker who bought his way out of a felony charge. It’s required reading for anybody who is inclined to believe Erzinger’s defense, that he fell asleep at the wheel, drifted off the road, and never had a clue that he’d hit anybody.

It’s also required reading for anybody who still lets Martin Erzinger or Morgan Stanley manage their money. Erzinger’s behavior is unconscionable, and Stanley’s continued employment of him is a massive blot on the firm’s reputation.

In any case, here’s the meat of the comment: 18 questions for Martin Erzinger. I very much doubt he’ll ever attempt to answer them.

1. Is it reasonable to believe that less than 10 minutes after completing a workout at your club you would fall asleep in the middle of the afternoon while driving your car?

2. Is it reasonable to believe that you would be suffering from sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea to such an extent that this deprivation would cause this mid-afternoon narcolepsy?

3. Is it believable that this malady was not “diagnosed” until a week after the accident?

4. Is it believable that the “diagnosis” itself says “the patient “may have developed sleep apnea around the time of the accident”?

5. Is it believable that a qualified doctor would allow the patient to continue driving (thus risking his own liability and medical license) after such a serious accident?

6. Is it believable that you would remain asleep after hitting a cyclist, leaving the road, driving over two hundred and sixty feet through terrain rough enough to tear the bumper off your brand new car?

7. Is it believable that you were (as you testified in court) aware that the car came to rest on a steep angle and yet still be “dazed or asleep”?

8. Is it believable that upon coming to rest your body would not be hyperaware due to the over whelming amount of adrenaline coursing through your veins?

9. Is it believable that upon becoming aware that you had driven off the road over rough terrain in a brand new $100,000 plus Mercedes Benz, you would not get out of the car to inspect it for damage prior to driving out of the ditch and onto the road?

10. Is it believable that you would try to reenter the highway without looking behind you for oncoming traffic?

11. Is it believable that such a glance over your shoulder would not reveal the cars stopped across the highway at the point of your departure from the road and the body of the cyclist you hit lying in the road less than 90 yards behind you?

12. Is it believable that “an honest man” would not have any concern for damage he might have caused while “asleep” while driving”?

13. Is it believable that if you were going to call for a tow for your disabled car, that you would not call while the car was in the ditch, but would drive it out of the ditch, risking further damage, and proceed to drive over three miles to hide behind an abandoned Pizza Hut before calling for a tow?

14. Is it believable that an “honest man” would say he had called police when there is no record of such a call in the police call log nor on his cell phone records?

15. Is it believable that an “honest man” would tell Onstar not to use the email address they had on file for him (which was correct) but to use his wife’s email address?

16. Is it believable that an “honest man” would have his company’s employment attorney contact the District Attorney in order to attempt to influence the entering of a felony “due to the effect on his job”?

17. Is it believable that, knowing you had severely injured the son-in-law of a friend, you never visited the injured cyclist, never admitting hitting him? (In court you said “I’m sorry this happened to you”.)

18. Is it believable that an “honest man” would not notify the Security and Exchange Commission, as required by law, that he was charged with a felony until ordered to do so by a judge over 180 days after the accident?

Writes Schuler:

These are only a few of the questions that should have plagued the District Attorney prior to unfairly reducing a felony charge against Marty Erzinger to a couple of misdemeanors.

If you find the answers to these questions as unbelievable as I do, you must conclude that neither the District Attorney nor Mr. Erzinger could meet the reasonable standard of an honest man.

I, for one, would never want this man in charge of my money, nor any firm which happily continues to employ him.

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