Grasso to Keep Pay Package

The long legal battle former NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso's compensation package ended when a New York court ruled Grasso could keep the $187.5 million he was paid.

"We have reviewed the court's opinion and determined that an appeal would not be warranted," said Alex Detrick, spokesman for Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, according to the Associated Press. "Thus, for all intents and purposes, the Grasso case is over."

The 3-1 ruling by the New York State of Appeals concluded that the attorney general could not sue Grasso for excessive pay since the exchange had be converted in 2005 from a non-profit entity to a for-profit corporation.

''Dick Grasso is gratified by the ruling of the appellate division,'' said his lawyer, Gerson A. Zweifach, a partner at Williams & Connolly, according to the New York Times. ''His devotion to the stock exchange never wavered, and neither did his faith that he would be vindicated by the courts.''

Launched in 2004 by then Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, the lawsuit sought to strip Grasso of his compensation package, alleging in was excessive and unlawful.

Grasso was forced out of the NYSE in 2003 amid furor over his high pay. Grasso's salary from 1995 to 2002 was about $1.4 million, with bonuses that topped at $10.6 million in 2002, according to court documents obtained by AP. His 2003 compensation package included $139.5 million, plus an added $8 million payable over four years.

After the court's decision, Grasso told Bloomberg News: "It's a confirmation of the belief I've held for the last five years in our justice system and my having performed in a manner consistent with my responsibilities. Right now I'm going to turn to my family and we're going to move on to the next chapter."

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