The Obama administration knew before the 2010 election that Solyndra LLC, a solar-panel maker that received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, planned to fire workers, according to e-mails released today.
Solyndra LLC Chief Executive Officer Brian Harrison, who plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to silence at a congressional hearing tomorrow, was vocal about the company’s prospects in meetings with some of the same lawmakers two months ago.
The U.S. Department of Energy asked Solyndra LLC to delay announcing it would fire workers until a day after last year’s elections, according to a House Republican report citing advisers for the failed solar-panel maker.
Solyndra LLC, the solar-panel maker that collapsed after getting a U.S. loan guarantee, hired a Washington lobbying firm weeks before its bankruptcy in what may have been a last-ditch effort to sway U.S. lawmakers investigating the company.
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.
Solyndra LLC, the bankrupt solar- panel maker under investigation, should have a trustee overseeing its bankruptcy because top executives won’t answer questions about the company’s finances, the U.S. Trustee said in court papers.
The glass-and-metal building that Solyndra LLC began erecting alongside Interstate 880 in Fremont, California, in September 2009 was something the Silicon Valley area hadn’t seen in years: a new factory.