Former Car Czar Pays $10 Million, Does Not Go To Jail

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Former Obama administration “car czar” and leader of the Presidential Task Force on Autos, Steven Rattner, wrote a $10 million check yesterday to NYS Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and Cuomo dropped his charges. Rattner will remain a free man. The only thing he’s not allowed is to appear before any state-pension funds for the next five years. Cuomo can close out his desk and go on to become New York’s governor.

For Rattner, this is the end of the “pay-to-play” pension kick-back scandal that led to the criminal convictions of former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi and seven others. Rattner will get away, and the Empire State will have $10 million less of a budget shortfall.

The New York Post says that “Rattner’s punishment is a slap on the wrist compared to what Cuomo originally wanted from the ex-Wall Street financier.” Cuomo wanted a $26 million settlement. Rattner countered with $ 6 million. Cuomo turned him down, his reasoning is in the video. Excerpt: “6 million dollars is basically the amount of money Mr. Rattner will make from the deal. We have people in prisons today who would have gladly just given back the money and go on their way.” Well, Rattner had settled a parallel probe with the SEC for $6.2 million, and probably thought what’s good enough for the Feds should be good enough for the State.

Hevesi and others are awaiting sentencing, while Rattner continues advising his old pal, Mayor Bloomberg. Speaking of Bloomberg, Bloomberg treats the case with kiddie gloves. It gives wide play to Rattner calling Cuomo’s lawsuit “close to extortion.” Bloomberg went deep in the archives and found another Rattner bonmot: Cuomo “has basically threatened me all along the way that if I don’t do what he wants me to do, he will prosecute me to the ends of the earth.”

It was all talk, Steve. just make sure the check won’t bounce.

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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Dec 31, 2010

    Figuring right from wrong in NY State pension politics is futile. The system is rife with abuse. Long term, it's probably (depending on Congress) destined to be tuned up and hair cut by a federal judge. NY state AG's have a history of stretching laws (and having their convictions overturned). And Rattner is what Rattner is - a connected finance guy and fixer who saved GM / Chrysler by stretching the law just enough. An interesting take on the subject, even though it applies more to the feds, is the book "Three Felonies a Day" by Harvey Silverglate.

  • Jeff Waingrow Jeff Waingrow on Dec 31, 2010

    And all the best to you too, Mike. Whew! My dumb little comment brought on this tirade? It doesn't seem to take much these days. Since you apparently don't have any ideological blinders, I trust you will share your wisdom with me when you notice that I've gone astray. I'll certainly be grateful for the direction.

    • See 4 previous
    • Telegraph Road Telegraph Road on Jan 01, 2011

      Ridicule the Washington Times? Not necessary for me to do that.

  • Sayahh Is it 1974 or 1794? The article is inconsistent.
  • Laura I just buy a Hyndai Elantra SEL, and My car started to have issues with the AC dont work the air sometimes is really hot and later cold and also I heard a noice in the engine so I went to the dealer for the first service and explain what was hapenning to the AC they told me that the car was getting hot because the vent is not working I didnt know that the car was getting hot because it doesnt show nothing no sign no beep nothing I was surprise and also I notice that it needed engine oil, I think that something is wrong with this car because is a model 23 and I just got it on April only 5 months use. is this normal ? Also my daughter bought the same model and she went for a trip and the car also got hot and it didnt show up in the system she called them and they said to take the car to the dealer for a check up I think that if the cars are new they shouldnt be having this problems.
  • JamesGarfield What charging network does the Polestar use?
  • JamesGarfield Re: Getting away from union plantsAbout a dozen years or so ago, Caterpillar built a huge new engine plant, just down the road here in Seguin TX. Story has it, Caterpillar came to Seguin City council in advance, and told them their plans. Then they asked for no advanced publicity from Seguin, until announcement day. This new plant was gonna be a non-union replacement for a couple of union plants in IL and SC, and Cat didn't want to stir up union problems until the plan was set. They told Seguin, If you about blab this in advance, we'll walk. Well, Seguin kept quiet as instructed, and the plan went through, with all the usual expected tax abatements given.Plant construction began, but the Caterpillar name was conspicuously absent from anywhere on the site. Instead, the plant was described as being a collective of various contractors and suppliers for Caterpillar. Which in fact, it was. Then comes the day, with the big new plant fully operationa!, that Caterpillar comes in and announces, Hey, Yeah it's our plant, and the Caterpillar name boldly goes up on the front. All you contractor folks, welcome aboard, you're now Caterpillar employees. Then, Cat turns and announces they are closing those two union plants immediately, and will be transporting all the heavy manufacturing equipment to Seguin. None of the union workers, just the equipment. And today, the Caterpillar plant sits out there, humming away happily, making engines for the industry and good paying jobs for us. I'd call that a winner.
  • Stuki Moi What Subaru taketh away in costs, dealers will no doubt add right back in adjustments.... Fat chance Subaru will offer a sufficient supply of them.