CNBC's Gasparino: Attorney General to Pursue Grasso Case

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo plans to pursue the civil case against former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Dick Grasso and his $140 million pay package, CNBC's Charlie Gasparino has learned.

Cuomo is picking up where his predecessor, New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, left off and is planning to hire a major white collar attorney to prosecute the case, Gasparino said.

"We're going to aggressively pursue our case," Cuomo spokesman John Milgrim said on Monday. The state's top prosecutor is also expected to announce soon the hiring of a lawyer who will head up white-collar lawsuits and lead the charge against Grasso, people familiar with the situation said.

Judge Charles Ramos has already ruled that Grasso must return most of his $140 million pay package, saying that it violated the state's not-for-profit law. Grasso has appealed the ruling, and a decision could be months away.

Grasso resigned under pressure in 2003 amid public uproar caused by the disclosure of his compensation package. Grasso ran the Big Board for eight years when it was a member-owned
institution.

Grasso has been reaching out recently in an attempt to settle the case and keep most of the money, Gasparino reported previously. Grasso's co-defendant, billionaire financier Ken Langone, has told Grasso he would never speak to him again if the case is settled before Langone could clear his name, Gasparino said.