The Associated Press looks into Mitt Romney’s association with Bain Capital after he left to run the Winter Olympics in 1999, and adds one small tidbit to the story:
Several associates now say Romney made repeated trips between Salt Lake City and Boston, where he met at times with his former partners, mostly to discuss his severance from the firm. The Boston Globe reported last week that Romney also met with his Bain partners at a 15th anniversary celebration in Palm Beach, Fla., in early 1999.
“Some were group conversations. Some were one on one,” said a legal expert familiar with Romney’s discussions with his Bain partners. This person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential business dealings, said that Romney did not relinquish his Bain ownership after taking the Olympics role but that Romney took care to avoid the day-to-day role of a corporate manager.
This is pretty much the same thing Ed Conard told Chris Hayes a week ago, and since Conard can’t reasonably be described as a “legal expert,” this appears to be independent confirmation of what he said. For the time being, then, it appears that the best evidence supports Romney’s story that (a) he held onto his titles in order to maintain leverage during his severance negotiations, and (b) was involved very little with the operation of Bain after he left. He probably wasn’t completely disengaged (the AP story says his meetings were “mostly” about severance), but it does sound as though he had only minimal operational contact.
Whether he should be held morally accountable for Bain’s actions as long as he held the CEO title is a whole different question. But substantively, probably not.