Rattner leaving administration auto post

July 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- Steven Rattner is resigning as the Obama administration's top adviser on the auto industry, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Monday.

Ron Bloom, a senior member of the panel that advises the administration on auto industry matters, will succeed Rattner, Geithner said in a statement.

"With the emergence of both General Motors (Corp.) and Chrysler (LLC) from bankruptcy, we enter a new phase of the government's unprecedented and temporary involvement in the automotive industry," Geithner said. "I am very proud of the work done by the Auto Task Force, under the leadership of Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, to help oversee the efficient, fair and commercial restructuring of two great American companies."

It was unclear whether Rattner was leaving the post voluntarily, The New York Times said. However, an investment firm Rattner ran, the Quadrangle Group, has been the subject of an investigation by New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the newspaper said.

Authorities began looking into Quadrangle after it was linked to a pay-for-play scandal involving a New York state pension fund. Cuomo's office has filed criminal charges against six people as part of the investigation -- including Hank Morris of Searle and Co., a Connecticut company that helped place pension fund investments.

Rattner had held talks with Searle, which helped Quadrangle arrange business in New York state, the Times said.

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