In what has to be the most outrageous display of chutzpah, a proposal filed by Solyndra’s attorneys in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware proposes to pay bonuses of from $10,000 to $50,000 to persuade key employees to stay with Solyndra. Bankruptcy attorneys said the “key employee incentive plan” tries to keep important personnel from leaving the company. Proposed bonus recipients include nine equipment engineers, six general business and finance employees, and two information technology specialists. The largest bonus, $50,000, would go to a Solyndra employee whose job title is listed as a senior director with a base salary of $206,499 per year. Two senior managers will receive bonuses of $30,000 and $32,500.
Solyndra employed about 1,100 people before it went bankrupt in 2011. Today just 84 employees remain. Bankruptcy attorneys argued that the bonus money, ranging from 8 percent to 30 percent of employees’ base annual salaries, “will motivate the eligible employees to work as hard as possible” to achieve a Chapter 11 restructuring plan and sale.
More than 50 House Republicans are pressing President Barack Hussein Obama to oppose failed Solyndra’s proposal to give bonuses to its remaining employees. The lawmakers, in a letter, called on Obama to direct the Justice Department to oppose Solyndra’s bonus proposal in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. The letter said (among other things): “No matter how we arrived at this moment and setting aside political disagreements concerning Solyndra, the simple fact is that American taxpayers should not be footing the bill for bonuses for employees of Solyndra.”
Bankruptcy documents show that more than a dozen senior executives at Solyndra were awarded quarterly bonuses of from $55,000 to $60,000 on April 15, 2011, and again on July 8, 2011.
Let’s see. First, pay big bonuses, then file for bankruptcy, then reward failure with more bonuses, all at taxpayer expense. That is, indeed, colossal chutzpah!
But that’s just my opinion.