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Steven Rattner’s “Conduct Was Inappropriate, Wrong, and Unethical”

Posted by Larry Doyle on April 15, 2010 1:37 PM |

Steven Rattner

Will New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and SEC Chair Mary Schapiro have the balls to go after former White House car czar Steven Rattner for his role in a New York State Pension “pay to play” scandal?

We will learn a lot about Cuomo and Schapiro in the process. Let’s not overlook what we’ll learn about the White House, as well.

Recall that Rattner, prior to serving as car czar, was co-founder of Quadrangle, the firm implicated in the New York State Pension “pay to play” scheme exposed by Cuomo. The SEC had a separate investigation of Quadrangle’s activities, as well.

Rattner is no longer affiliated with Quadrangle which just settled with the state. The Wall Street Journal highlights this story in writing, Quadrangle Agrees to Settle Pension Fund Case:

Private-equity firm Quadrangle Group LLC has settled with New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo’s office and the Securities & Exchange Commission in the ongoing “pay to play” investigation involving New York’s largest pension fund.

Quadrangle agreed to pay $7 million to New York state and fully cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigations, Mr. Cuomo said. Quadrangle said in a statement that it also settled an SEC suit over its involvement in the scandal at the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

The private-equity group said both investigations related “solely to the actions of former Quadrangle employees.” Quadrangle neither admitted nor denied any allegations.

Mr. Cuomo’s office said Quadrangle, as well as GKM Newport Generation Capital Services LLC, paid Henry “Hank” Morris, then-Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s paid political adviser, to arrange investments from the pension fund.

Quadrangle retained Mr. Morris as a placement agent to increase from $25 million to $100 million an investment Quadrangle was seeking from the fund, the release said.

“We wholly disavow the conduct engaged in by Steve Rattner, who hired the New York State Comptroller’s political consultant, Hank Morris, to arrange an investment from the New York State Common Retirement Fund,” Quadrangle was quoted as saying in Mr. Cuomo’s release. “That conduct was inappropriate, wrong, and unethical.”

What does the White House have to say about Mr. Rattner’s conduct? What kind of vetting process does the White House utilize prior to bringing on a person such as Mr. Rattner in a role such as the car czar? Does the White House believe in the principle of ‘you are known by the company you keep’?

Quadrangle just implicated Mr. Rattner in this “pay to play” scheme. Let’s see what kind of American justice gets meted out here. I repeat my call from a month ago: “Throw the Book at Steven Rattner.”

Who in America is coming to Rattner’s defense? Barack? Rham? We’re waiting. What do you have to say? America is listening!!


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