Ex-car czar to pay $6.2 million

Former Obama car czar Steven Rattner has agreed to pay $6.2 million to settle federal charges over his role in a “pay to play” scandal, but says he won’t be “bullied” into accepting a harsher penalty from New York’s attorney general.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Thursday that Rattner had accepted the fine and a two-year ban from the securities industry to resolve allegations that he paid illegal kickbacks to help his private equity firm land a lucrative investment from a state pension fund.

But similar settlement talks with state officials collapsed. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo filed two lawsuits Thursday seeking a much tougher punishment: at least $26 million and a lifetime ban from the securities business.

Rattner, a former New York Times reporter who went to Wall Street, expressed outrage over that demand in a statement e-mailed to reporters.