AIG Exec Resigns on Times' Op-Ed Page

By Xana O'Neill
|  Wednesday, Mar 25, 2009  |  Updated 2:57 PM EDT
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Blame Them For Your Empty Wallet

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The ex-exec said he refused to pay back the $742,006.40 he received on March 16 and will instead donate it to "organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn."

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A high-ranking AIG exec refused to give back his six-figure bonus and blasted the embattled company's CEO in a scathing letter of resignation printed today in the op-ed section of the New York Times.

In a letter titled "Dear AIG, I Quit!" Jake DeSantis resigned from his position as the executive vice president of AIG's product unit and ripped CEO Edward Liddy -- to whom the letter was addressed -- for not defending workers from searing criticism by the press and Congress.

"I am disappointed and frustrated over your lack of support for us," he wrote. "I and many others in the unit feel betrayed that you failed to stand up for us in the face of untrue and unfair accusations."

The ex-exec said he refused to pay back the $742,006 bonus he received on March 16 and will instead donate it to "organizations that are helping people who are suffering from the global downturn," he wrote.

"As most of us have done nothing wrong, guilt is not a motivation to surrender our earnings," DeSantis wrote. "We have worked 12 long months under these contracts and now deserve to be paid as promised."

DeSantis, who worked for 11 years at AIG, said he was earning $1 annual salary and working 10 to 14 hour days but could no longer justify putting in a day at work "for the benefit of those who have let me down."

"I simply believe that I at least deserve to dictate how my earnings are spent, and do not want to see them disappear back into the obscurity of AIG's of the federal government's budget," he wrote.

DeSantis also took shots at the "baseless and reckless" comments made by attorneys general of New York and Connecticut, who have taken a hard-line against bonuses the company doled out after it received taxpayer funds to stay afloat.

"I'm not sure how you will greet my resignation," he wrote, "but at least Attorney General Blumenthal should be relieved that I'll leave under my own power and will not need to be 'shoved out the door.'"  

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