Vail Cyclist Hit-and-Run Gets Even More Surreal

Martin Erzinger, left, with his attorney Richard Tegtmeier. (Kristin Anderson, Vail Daily)

The rich are different from you and me when it comes to having "accidents." Martin Erzinger beat a felony rap for almost killing a cyclist because it might affect his job as a fund manager of a cool billion bucks; His lawyer actually tried to use "new car smell" as a defense; now it turns out that the father-in-law of the victim was an even bigger manager, Tom Marsico, with $55 billion in his little pool. They had an interesting discussion in the hospital, recounted in the Denver Post:

Mutual fund magnate Tom Marsico was at the Vail Valley Medical Center on July 3, tending to his son-in-law, Dr. Steven Milo, who'd been hit by a black, 2010 Mercedes while bicycling...

Into the ER rolls Martin Erzinger, a wealth adviser who oversees more than $1 billion in accounts at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver.

Erzinger says hi to [Marsico's wife] Cydney.
"Marty and I have been acquaintances for some 20 years," Marsico explained. "I said, 'Geez, Marty, is there anything I can do for you? He said, 'Oh, no, I'm just in for some preliminary tests.'"

Erzinger was in and out in 20 minutes, Marsico recounted: "He checked out just fine." But Marsico's mind raced. Black Mercedes? Erzinger? "I was putting two and two together and I thought, 'Oh, God. No. This can't be."

Felix Salmon, a terrific blogger on finance at Reuters, is outraged:

The Marsico connection underlines why Milo was naturally more interested in justice than in money, and why it's unconscionable that DA Mark Hurlbert would ever suggest--as he did, when he dropped the felony charges--that "justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it."....

Erzinger should be in jail right now, rather than managing hundreds of millions of dollars of other people's money. I hope his clients drop him--and that other Morgan Stanley clients, too, move their money elsewhere. Perhaps to Marsico Capital. I can't see how anybody would want to park their money with a firm which continues to pay Martin Erzinger millions of dollars.

According to Lauren Glendenning of the Vail Daily, Erzinger feels like a victim too, saying that he has received death threats, hundreds of nasty emails and "slanderous media reports." He also is worried about losing his job.

More at Reuters via @tomvanderbilt

See also coverage in Velo News by Charles Pelkey
More Martin Erzinger:
Rich Vail Fund Manager Hits Cyclist And Runs, Gets Off Because Charges Might "Jeopardize His Job"
Update on Colorado Hit-and-Run Case: DA Tries To Explain Plea Bargain Decision
"New Car Smell" May Have Caused Hit-and-Run On Cyclist in Vail

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