CT: AIG's Just Not That Into You

Connecticut’s been used by AIG and now it seems the company might be blowing off our little state.

After the tsunami of the bonuses and Connecticut’s role broke, state officials issued subpoenas, looking for names of those who received the bonuses.

AIG handed over some information, but not everything the state wanted, Rep. Ryan Barry said.

Now, it’s not clear if anyone from the insurance giant is even going to show up Thursday for a hearing, even after the state even eased up a bit.

The co-chairmen of the General Assembly's Banks Committee and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal offered to scale back the breadth of the 14 legislative subpoenas it issued to AIG executives, including CEO Edward M. Liddy.

"We feel we have bent over backward to accommodate any concerns, any issues that AIG may have," Barry said.

Some AIG executives have received death threats, so the state offered a concession: if a senior AIG representative appeared Thursday to explain the company's compensation and bonus practices, lawmakers would then privately interview the subpoenaed employees as part of a Banks Committee investigation.

Part of the issue is the names of people who got the bonuses that have the country reeling.

After getting a financial bailout, the company gave out $165 million in bonuses, which AIG says were designed to keep valued employees from quitting.

The bonuses were paid to employees of its financial products unit, based in Wilton, and the company cited Connecticut law as the reason it had to give them out. A state panel is now considering reforms to the state's banking, finance and other laws.

Mark Herr, a spokesman for AIG, said the company continues to negotiate with the legislators and Blumenthal.

"We have cooperated with Connecticut state officials in an attempt to have a thoughtful and rational public policy discussion with the state's leaders," he said in a written statement. "We are willing to continue to talk with them and move the discussion forward."

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said he's concerned that the legislature is subpoenaing private citizens whose names were found in news reports and that their safety could be at risk.

"I would recommend that they drop the subpoenas on the individuals and get AIG up here to answer questions," said McKinney, who believes a representative of the company needs to explain why AIG is using Connecticut's Wage Act to justify its decision to award the bonuses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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