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Stearns Says Solyndra Chief Told Him Everything Was ‘Just Fine’

Representative Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, said Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian
Harrison “assured me that everything was just fine” about 30 days before the company closed and filed for bankruptcy. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images
Representative Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, said Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison “assured me that everything was just fine” about 30 days before the company closed and filed for bankruptcy. Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Sept. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Representative Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, said Solyndra Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison “assured me that everything was just fine” about 30 days before the company closed and filed for bankruptcy.

Stearns spoke today at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee investigations panel hearing on the Energy Department’s decision to give Solyndra, a solar-panel maker, a $535 million loan guarantee in September 2009. The company sought protection from creditors on Sept. 6.

Representative Diana DeGette of Colorado, the top Democrat on the panel, said while the subcommittee should examine why Solyndra got the guarantee, it should also review whether U.S. policies are adequate to “ensure that U.S. manufacturers can compete in the global clean-energy market.”

Harrison attended the hearing with Chief Financial Officer Bill Stover. Lawyers for both men said they would invoke their Fifth Amendment rights and decline to answer questions.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at jsnyder24@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Geimann at sgeimann@bloomberg.net

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