Steve Rattner settled his acrimonious pension fund suit with outgoing Attorney General Andrew Cuomo this afternoon.
The deal calls for Rattner to pay $10 million in fines, but does not require him to admit any wrongdoing. That’s less than the $26 million Cuomo was seeking from Rattner, but considerably more than the $6.2 million he paid to settle his case with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“I am gratified that we have been able to reach an agreement in this case, as it resolves the last major action of our multi-year investigation,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The dispute had gotten personal in recent weeks. Rattner told Charlie Rose that the concessions Cuomo wanted were unfair and the timing was politically-motivated; Cuomo, in response, told The New York Times that Rattner’s actions were among the more egregious pay-to-play violations he had seen in his pension fund investigations.
As part of today’s announcement, Rattner offered this apology:
“I apologize if during the course of this process there is anything I did that may have made reaching this agreement more difficult. I respect the work of the Attorney General and his staff to ensure that the New York State Common Retirement Fund operates properly and in the best interests of New Yorkers.”
The deal is, of course, mutually beneficial. It keeps Rattner from being forever barred from the securities industry–as Cuomo had been seeking–and allows the governor-elect to take credit for bringing him to justice.
But it’s also good news for incoming Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The new AG was in a precarious position with regard to the case, since he had accepted campaign contributions from Rattner’s wife, Maureen White, as recently as January. (Those contributions came before Schneiderman officially declared for AG, though rumors had pegged him as a candidate for some time. White also gave to Cuomo’s AG campaign back in 2006, which does not seem to have helped her husband much.)
Now, with the settlement occuring about 36 hours before the transfer of power, Schneiderman won’t have to deal with it.
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