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Cuomo: 'I've got the names of AIG bonus recipients'

March 19, 2009 |  1:44 pm

New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo said today that American International Group has given him the names of employees who received retention bonuses at the company's financial products unit.

But Cuomo indicated he was in no hurry to make the names public.

Noting that the company’s CEO, Edward Liddy, has raised fears about the workers’ safety, Cuomo said in a statement:

"We are aware of the security concerns of AIG employees, and we will be sensitive to those issues by doing a risk assessment before releasing any individual’s name. The Attorney General's office is a law enforcement agency and is experienced in making these assessments.

"As we perform our review, we will simultaneously be working with AIG over the next few days to determine which employees received payments and which chose to return the money they received.

"The Attorney General's office will responsibly balance the public's right to know how their tax dollars are spent with individual security, privacy rights, and corporate prerogative.

"At this moment, with emotions running high, it is important that we proceed diligently, with care, reflection, and sober judgment."

As the firestorm exploded this week over the bailed-out insurer's payments of $165 million in retention bonuses, Cuomo subpoenaed AIG this week for the names of the bonus recipients.

He said he wanted to investigate whether, among other things, "Any of the individuals receiving such payments were involved in the conduct that led to AIG’s demise and subsequent bailout," and " whether such [employment] contracts may be unenforceable for fraud or other reasons."

-- Tom Petruno