Video: Grasso deal?

updated 7/20/2005 12:01:54 PM ET 2005-07-20T16:01:54

Former New York Stock Exchange chief Richard A. Grasso, who was sued by New York’s attorney general over his $187.5 million pay package, said Wednesday he would be willing to settle the case.

In an interview with cable news channel CNBC, the ex-chairman and chief executive of the NYSE said, “I think it would be in everyone’s best interest” to pursue a settlement with Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

“Whether we reconcile this, that’s for the parties involved to decide,” Grasso said. He did not elaborate on the terms he might find agreeable.

Grasso was also shown warmly greeting Spitzer deputy Avi Schick before they entered a midtown office building together.

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Two sources close to the case told The Associated Press, on condition of anonymity, that the two sides were meeting at the law offices of Cravath Swaine & Moore to take the deposition of Henry Paulson Jr., the Goldman Sachs Group Inc. chairman and CEO who was a member of the NYSE board of directors that approved Grasso’s pay package.

A spokesman for Spitzer’s office declined comment, while Grasso’s public relations firm referred questions to his lawyer, Gerson Zweifach of the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly. Zweifach did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Surprisingly, Grasso had kind words for Spitzer, whom he had lambasted in an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal last year.

“I think the AG has done great things for investors,” Grasso said in the interview. “I take issue with only one case he’s brought during his tenure,” he said, referring to his own case.

Spitzer sued Grasso in May 2004, accusing the former Big Board chief of violating New York’s not-for-profit law by accepting an “unreasonable” pay package. Former board member Kenneth Langone, who headed the board’s compensation committee in 2003, was also named in the suit.

Spitzer said he could seek up to $100 million from Grasso.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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