New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer may file a civil lawsuit against former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso in an attempt to recoup some of his $140 million pay deal.

Grasso’s successor, interim Chairman John Reed, met with Spitzer for an hour on Monday and asked if he would consider joining the investigation. Spitzer has proved a formidable adversary for brokerage firms and mutual funds that have behaved badly.

Reed and Spitzer reportedly discussed the findings of a probe into Grasso’s compensation conducted at Reed’s request by former federal prosecutor Dan Webb. The Webb report, which has not been made public, is said to contain intimate details as to how Grasso’s pay was engineered and could serve as the blueprint for potential legal action.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is also expected to enter the fray, although it said it is likely to defer to Spitzer because of his jurisdiction over New York not-for-profit companies.

"My office will review the Webb report and conduct its own investigation to determine whether there were violations of New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law," Spitzer said in a prepared statement. "Subsequent to completing our review, we will determine what action, if any, is necessary and appropriate."

Reed was scheduled to meet with the new NYSE board members on Thursday to discuss the Webb report and decide whether to pursue the matter on its own or file joint actions with Spitzer.

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