The SEC caught a big fish in muniland that was clearly breaking the “pay-to-play” rules. Pay-to-play is when municipal bond underwriters give contributions to politicians to win underwriting business. Reuters has the story:
Goldman Sachs Group Inc will pay more than $14 million to settle federal and state charges after it violated “pay-to-play” rules, in a case involving campaign contributions to former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Timothy Cahill.
Neil Morrison, a former vice president in Goldman’s Boston office, worked extensively on Cahill’s 2010 campaign while also soliciting underwriting business from the Massachusetts treasurer’s office, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. Cahill at the time was Massachusetts state treasurer.
It appears that Goldman Sachs hired the former deputy treasurer of Massachusetts, Neil Morrison, who then proceeded to use his time at Goldman and the firm’s resources to help elect his former boss as governor. The quid pro quo to Morrison and Goldman was the state would direct lucrative underwriting to Goldman Sachs. The SEC described the case as its first “pay-to-play” case involving contributions other than cash.
“Morrison’s work for Cahill’s campaign during his Goldman Sachs’ work hours was remarkable in its breadth,” the SEC said in its order.