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Conn. Subpoenas AIG Bonus Recipients

Employees at AIG's Financial Products office in Wilton, Conn., face questioning at a hearing being convened by state lawmakers Thursday to examine the $218 million which the taxpayer-rescued company paid out in bonuses.

The Stamford Advocate reports that AIG workers, some of whom have received death threats, are concerned about security at the State Capitol, as well as the ground rules for questioning.

Mark Herr, a spokesman for AIG, said in a statement Monday that the firm was negotiating with the state legislators to provide information about the bonuses, and hoped that a thoughtful discussion on the issue would remove "the overheated emotion that has swirled around it and resulted in our employees being subjected to death threats, hate mail and harassment."

State Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, told the Advocate he expects 14 AIG employees (who received subpoenas last week) will attend the hearing. State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal threatened court action if they failed to do so.

Blumenthal also said he was mindful of the employee's security and safety concerns, and said that efforts were being made to responsibly address them.

While derision of the bonuses has been bipartisan, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, and House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr., R-Norwalk, told the Advocate they were uneasy about issuing subpoenas.

McKinney said 13 subpoenaed employees who are his constituents were targeted "based on press reports.

"I don't know where we're going by calling up and subpoenaing individual employees and bringing them before the legislature other than to possibly expose them or put them in some harm's way," McKinney told the Advocate.

"There's a lot of people to blame," said Cafero, "but the least culpable — and it might be tough to say that when they're getting the money they're getting — is private employees working for a private company who sign a contract for them to get compensation. One could argue, if I'm them, 'What did I do wrong?'"