Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani speaks during a town hall meeting in Boca Raton, Fla. Giuliani on Tuesday resigned as head of Giuliani Partners, his consulting firm.
Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani has stepped down as head of his consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, after months of refusing to disclose the firm's clients or the role he played.
Giuliani was replaced as chairman by Peter Powers, Giuliani's longtime friend and former aide, said Sunny Mindel, the firm's spokeswoman. The change was reported by The Wall Street Journal earlier Tuesday, and Mindel noted news stories in recent months have said Giuliani was handing control to Powers.
The firm, started by the former New York mayor after his term ended, earned Giuliani around $4 million last year. Mindel did not say whether he would retain his interest in the company.
Although Giuliani has insisted the firm's client list is confidential, media reports have named a number of clients, including the country of Qatar. The Persian Gulf nation was accused of sheltering suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, although Qatar is now a U.S. ally.
Giuliani aides said he has not been involved in the firm's day-to-day operations since last spring. Yet, Giuliani has not said that until now, despite being asked about it repeatedly. The firm's Web site listed him as chairman as recently as last month.
Asked in a Nov. 5 interview with The Associated Press to outline his role in the firm or list its clients, Giuliani laughed then grew agitated. "Everything I did at Giuliani Partners was totally legal, totally ethical," he said. "There's nothing for me to explain about. We acted honorably, decently."
"There are some things that a law firm and security firm do that are confidential. You can't release it because the client asks for confidentiality. We do sensitive work. So maybe there are some exceptions like that," he added.
Giuliani said it's unfair to ask for details about his consulting firm, as well as the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani.
"What's the standard? Giuliani Partners and Bracewell, Giuliani are firms. Nobody has ever accused them of doing anything wrong. So all of the sudden, you are going to start jumping to conclusions about them when there are absolutely no suggestions they have done anything wrong?"
Giuliani had income of $4.1 million from his share in the consulting business and $1.2 million from Bracewell between January 2006 and February 2007, he reported in financial disclosure forms filed in May.
From NPR reports and The Associated Press