Update 7:13 pm ET, Tuesday, September 20
Solyndra CEO Brian Harrison and CFO W.G. Stover will plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer any and all questions put to them at a congressional hearing into the solar panel company’s collapse on Friday, Reuters reports, citing letters obtained from Solyndra attorneys.
The two executives are still expected to appear before the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, which has since February been investigating the Department of Energy’s decision to grant Solyndra a $535 million loan guarantee back in 2009.
Harrison, previously President and CEO of flash memory company Numonyx, B.V., took over as CEO of Solyndra in July 2010 after Solyndra founder and former CEO Chris Gronet stepped aside, in retrospect a sure sign that things were teetering on the edge of disaster at the Freemont, Calif.-based company.
Both Harrison and Gronet had their homes searched by the FBI in early September in connection with the Solyndra bankruptcy.
The subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), is trying to find out why the company reported that it was in solid financial shape in July, a month before it declared bankruptcy. Also, the Republican-controlled House is on the hunt for evidence that would suggest Solyndra’s loan guarantee was approved due to political favoritism, as Obama campaign backers have been linked to Solyndra’s private investors and the Department of Energy’s loan programs office.
The hearing has been set for Friday, September 23, 2011, at 9:30 a.m.
Late update: House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Cliff Stearns (R-FL) released a statement blasting Harrison and Stover for invoking the Fifth and asking “Who exactly are Solyndra’s executives trying to protect and what are they trying to hide?”