Updated: 05/19/09 09:04 PM By Tom Precious NEWS ALBANY BUREAU ALBANY -- Life as a private citizen after losing the most politically powerful job in the state has done little to diminish the combative ways of Eliot L. Spitzer. In testimony last fall before investigators looking into leaks by a state ethics agency to his former administration over an alleged political spying scheme, Spitzer jousted repeatedly with state Inspector General Joseph Fisch, a former judge. "My time is precious, judge. What's your question?" Spitzer snapped at one point during his testimony Oct. 29, after claiming that undisclosed individuals have been tracking and seeking to "intercept conversations of mine" since he left office in March 2008. Later, Fisch started asking Spitzer a question to see if it "provokes your recollection." "Provokes? Or refreshes? Provoking tends to be easier than refreshing me," he responded. The disgraced former governor was testifying in the case of Herbert Teitelbaum, who resigned after a report last week by Fisch said he illegally tipped off an aide to Spitzer numerous times during the course of an investigation by Teitelbaum's agency, the Commission on Public Integrity. The agency, controlled at the time by Spitzer appointees, was looking into an effort by Spitzer's aides to smear a former political rival, then-Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, about his use of state helicopters. The episode took its latest casualty today: Robert Hermann, a former top adviser to Spitzer who Fisch said was getting the information from Teitelbaum, resigned a job he had taken with the Senate Democrats. The testimony of Spitzer and other officials involved in the matter was posted Tuesday on the inspector general's web site -- It offers an intriguing glimpse into the shadowy world of Albany and behind-the-scenes power politics. Release of the testimony comes as Spitzer has been on a media blitz -- with interviews granted to reporters who seldom covered him in office -- trying to resurrect his name. The testimony occurred over two dates, including an appearance in September that was filled with Spitzer claiming he had "no recollection" of many of the events or conversations that the inspector general was asking about. Spitzer's testimony is especially readable for his lashing out at still having to answer questions about a 2-year-old episode. He showed little respect for David A. Paterson who succeeded him. He said Fisch, a Paterson appointee, should be aware that Paterson's office "improperly" released e-mails of his about the controversial period and that he is "considering filing a disciplinary complaint" and referral to the ethics agency about that. He said Paterson's office had failed to "observe even a modicum of legal principle, ethical conduct or respect for others who have held the office." He said there were questions whether David Soares, the Albany County district attorney whom Republicans accused of going soft on Spitzer, "acted outside the legal authority in comments he made about people impugning their integrity and his generalized incompetence, and I would like to see your questions so that my time is not taken up unduly." He also complained about the media still following him and his family, and he lashed out at people from his own ethics agency with a theme repeated throughout: questionable ethics. In the end, Spitzer made clear he thought the whole matter was silly because its roots Albany's so-called Troopergate scandal that involved the State Police allegedly passing on information about Bruno's travels was itself a non-starter. He called requests for documents about the scandal "inane." "And that's why this whole thing has been nothing more than the creation of clever PR by, we now know, [GOP consultant] Roger Stone and others, to gin this up and get the press to create hysteria, which the ethics commission then felt compelled to respond to," Spitzer testified. He called the whole affair "an issue of idiocy that only the folks in Albany would worry about." e-mail: