Former auto czar Steven Rattner has agreed to pay a $10 million fine to settle a “pay-to-play” case that claimed the one-time reporter had handed out kickbacks in order to steer $150 million in New York State pension fund business to his Wall Street firm.
The settlement, approved by NY Attorney General – and Governor-elect – Andrew Cuomo also bars Rattner from having any dealing with any public New York pension fund for five years. But the former NY Times journalist still scored a victory. Cuomo had originally hoped to force Rattner to pay a $26 million fine and to bar him for life from working anywhere in the securities industry.
Rattner, who is worth a minimum of $188 million according to knowledgeable sources, served as the Obama Administration’s first “auto czar,” helping put in place the bailout of, among others, General Motors and Chrysler, in early 2009. But shortly after leaving the government he became enmeshed in an ongoing scandal involving the illegal efforts by various private equity firms to gain lucrative pension fund business.