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Lawmakers Frustrated By AIG ‘Compliance’

by Christine Stuart | Mar 24, 2009 6:56pm
(4) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Corporate Watch

Christine Stuart file photo

(Updated 8:53 p.m.) Less than 72 hours from now American International Group executives are expected to appear before the legislature’s Banks Committee, but based on discussions thus far it’s still unclear whether they’re going to be in attendance Thursday at 1 p.m.

Banks Committee Co-Chairmen Rep. Ryan Barry, D-Manchester, and Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said Tuesday that they’ve gone out of their way to accommodate the AIG employees whose names they gleaned through newspaper reports.

Tuesday afternoon the co-chairmen outlined what they would consider compliance with the 14 subpoenas they served late last week. The subpoenas for all of the AIG employees were accepted by AIG’s local counsel, Ross Garber of Shipman and Goodwin, according to Barry.

“Despite our every attempt to accommodate AIG concerns, we are writing to express our deep concern and frustration with the lack of cooperation by AIG regarding the inquiry by the Banks Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly into your company’s bonus and compensation policies and their impact on the Connecticut mortgage and loan industry,” the co-chairmen wrote in this letter to AIG’s Vice Chairman, Executive Vice President, and General Counsel Anastasia Kelly.

The co-chairmen said they would like one or more senior executives who have knowledge about AIG’s compensation and bonus practices to testify on Thursday. Secondly, they would agree to private interviews with subpoenaed witnesses prior to any public testimony. And third, a commitment of continued cooperation, including additional documentation.

Barry said the state still has the ability to force compliance with the subpoenas through the court, if AIG chooses not to cooperate. In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Barry said he has no reason to believe AIG won’t comply with the subpoenas.

As far as the security concerns expressed by AIG employees, Barry said they had been resolved and Capitol Police have assured the committee of the employee’s safety.

Sen. Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Southport, said Tuesday evening in a phone interview that he’s concerned for the safety of the AIG employees. He said one person from AIG should testify, rather than dozens of AIG employees. He said everyone is angry over the fact that AIG gave out these bonuses after receiving federal bailout money, but these employees should not be paraded in front of television cameras to an uncertain end.

Garber was not immediately available for comment regarding AIG’s plans.

Late Friday evening, it seemed like the Republican’s proposal to amend Connecticut’s wage law in order to ensure companies receiving federal stimulus or TARP funds aren’t subject to double damages will not be on the agenda during Wednesday’s House session.

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(4) Comments

posted by: James D. | March 24, 2009  9:53pm

Sorry—When you take their campaign contributions, you lose the right to complain about their actions.

You’re all partners in crime.

posted by: christine | March 24, 2009  11:27pm

There’s public campaign finance in Connecticut so I don’t think any of our state politicians took AIG’s campaign contributions, at least not in the last election.

posted by: IBlogWestHatrtford | March 25, 2009  12:25pm

I’m no expert, but it’s my understanding that if a candidate doesn’t “opt in” to public financing, then they can accept BUNDLES of cash from employees of a company like AIG.  And if you were AIG, why wouldn’t you “pay to play”?

posted by: robn | March 26, 2009  1:52pm

If one candidate opts out and gets big wads of private cash or is assisted by outsiders running attack ads, the opt-in candidate gets a matching bump from the public finncing system. So theres not much incentive to opt out.