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Battle Lines Drawn in Spitzer V. Grasso

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:22 PM
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Battle Lines Drawn in Spitzer V. Grasso
By MICHAEL J. MARTINEZ, AP Business Writer

NEW YORK - Former New York Stock Exchange (news - web sites) chief Richard A. Grasso was undaunted by the state attorney general's lawsuit over his $187.5 million compensation package, promising Tuesday to countersue the exchange and its interim chairman for unpaid portions of his pay package as well as for "besmirching" his name.

In a 1,500-word op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, the former chairman and chief executive of the exchange said any damages awarded in his countersuit would be donated to charity. Grasso will also seek damages from the NYSE and interim chairman John Reed for "the (media) leaks orchestrated by Mr. Reed."

"I will derive considerable pleasure knowing that some public good ultimately resulted because of the immoral and dishonest behavior of those who forced my departure and besmirched my name," Grasso wrote in the Journal. "Those who thought they could break me with their repeated media leaks badly underestimated my character and resolve. I look forward to addressing them in court where they can no longer hide behind (Attorney General Eliot) Spitzer's cloak."

Spitzer filed suit Monday against Grasso, the exchange, and former director Kenneth G. Langone, who headed the NYSE's compensation committee when Grasso received his biggest payouts. Spitzer is seeking the return of at least $100 million from Grasso, and another $18 million from Langone the amount Langone is accused of hiding from the rest of the board of directors on behalf of Grasso.

Grasso resigned in September, one month after the board approved his compensation package. The NYSE has demanded he return $120 million, which he has refused to do. He previously said he would forgo the $48 million yet to be paid if he received an apology, but said Tuesday he will seek that amount in damages in court.


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