CHICAGO -- Rodman & Renshaw Inc. officials have met with Illinois officials to discuss the firm's expulsion last month from a syndicate for an upcoming state bond issue due to sexual harassment complaints.

Neither side had any comments about what was said during the private meeting last Thursday.

Bess Gallanis, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Rodman, said yesterday that the firm was "pleased with the outcome of the meetting." But, she said, "At the state's request, the remainder of the discussion will be confidential."

Gallanis said she could not confirm who attended the meeting.

Rodman was dropped from the state's $150 million general obligation college saver issue as a co-manager on Aug. 31. Shortly before that on the same day, state officials learned of three sexual harassment complaints pending against the firm by three former female employees.

Rodman officials have denied the charges and said they are fighting the complaints.

James Montana, Gov. Jim Edgar's chief legal counsel, who was to have met with Rodman officials, did not return telephone calls. Montana is the governor's point person for selecting bond firms.

Greg Quinlivan, Rodman's general counsel and executive vice president, said last week that the firm wanted to talk with Montana about why the state used the pending complaints as a reason for dropping the firm from the deal.

Quinlivan at that time said Rodman was prepared to argue that other firms kept in the deal have sexual harassment claims against them, that the state of Illinois has claims pending against its offices, and that criteria like sexual harassment complaints should be applied equally.

The state replaced Rodman with LaSalle National Capital Markets on Sept. 2 as a co-manager for the deal that is scheduled to be priced next month.

Montana said the decision to drop Rodman from the deal did not constitute a judgment by the state about the merits of the complaints. Rather, he said, it reflects a preference for having complaints resolved before including a firm in a transaction.

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