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Steven Rattner, Ex-'Car Czar,' Reportedly Close To Settlement On Pay-To-Play Scandal

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WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday postponed a vote to settle a case with the Obama administration's former auto industry czar, Steven Rattner.

The vote on the proposed settlement was struck from the agenda of the SEC commissioners' meeting, a person familiar with the matter said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

It wasn't clear why the action was put off. The New York state attorney general has been conducting a related investigation of an influence-peddling scandal involving the state's $125 billion public pension fund. It wasn't known whether possible action by the attorney general's office factored into the SEC's decision.

Earlier news reports indicated that the settlement calls for Rattner to pay $5 million or $6 million in fines and to accept a two-year ban from the securities industry for his role in the so-called "pay-to-play" scandal.

SEC spokesmen declined to comment. Spokesmen for the New York attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, couldn't be reached Thursday evening.

The SEC has been investigating whether Rattner and his private-equity firm Quadrangle Group paid kickbacks to get access to business from the state's pension fund.

In a separate settlement in April, Quadrangle agreed to pay $12 million to resolve related investigations by the SEC and Cuomo's office.

Rattner, a major political fundraiser and influential policy figure, left the firm last year to become co-leader of the White House task force that restructured General Motors and Chrysler in the wake of the financial crisis. He left the government in July.

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