AFP | July 1, 2008

An appeals court Tuesday gave former New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) chief Richard Grasso a total victory Tuesday, dismissing all claims seeking reimbursement of a contested 100-million-dollar severance payout.

A mid-level appeals court in Albany, New York, said the state attorney general’s authority ended when the NYSE became a for-profit corporation in 2006, according to The New York Times.

Last month, another appeals court dismissed four of the six claims against Grasso, also ruling that state officials had no authority in the case that focused on hefty executive pay.

Grasso resigned as the NYSE’s chairman in late 2003, but made headlines with the generous 187.5-million-dollar severance and compensation package he received upon departing.

State officials filed suit to obtain the return of 100 million dollars in pension payments and other benefits in the package, which was deemed excessive and a violation of the exchange’s non-profit status at the time.

Grasso repeatedly has insisted his compensation was legal, and filed suit against the NYSE, which he says still owes him another 50 million dollars.

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