Two days ago, car czar Steve Rattner abruptly quit, with an explanation that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Despite that explanation and assurances from the White House that Rattner had no involvement in corruption in the New York state pension fund, the investigation has apparently turned up enough evidence that NY AG Andrew Cuomo will press civil charges against Rattner:
The White House auto czar, who abruptly announced this week that he was leaving the administration, could face legal action in New York over his former company’s dealings with the state pension fund.
The Associated Press reported late Tuesday that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo could press for a legal settlement with Steven Rattner regarding potential civil charges in a wide-ranging pay-to-play investigation. …
Cuomo and the Securities and Exchange Commission have in the course of the investigation charged a state official and a political consultant with extracting millions of dollars in kickbacks from investment firms trying to raise money from the state’s big public pension fund.
The Quadrangle Group, the private equity firm Rattner led before joining the Obama administration, paid more than $1 million to one of the people indicted in the case, New York political consultant Hank Morris.
A person familiar with the investigation said that criminal charges were unlikely but that Rattner or Quadrangle could reach civil settlements like those Cuomo has reached recently with other companies that made similar payments. The person wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the pending investigation and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Once again, this shows what a mess Obama made of this appointment. Didn’t the White House bother to check with Andrew Cuomo about the involvement of Rattner and Quadrangle in the investigation? Apparently not; they took Rattner’s word that he had no involvement in it and repeated that to the press, who — especially the AP — seemed happy to report that as “authorities” stating that Rattner would face no charges.
Obviously, there’s more to Rattner’s involvement in the probe than first thought, and than admitted at any time by the White House.