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Obama ex-official settles case

NEW YORK | The investment banker who helped lead the Obama administration’s auto industry overhaul has agreed to pay $10 million to settle influence-peddling accusations in New York.

Former “car czar” Steven Rattner admitted no wrongdoing as part of the deal, which was announced by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo on Thursday.

Mr. Cuomo’s office had filed civil lawsuits against Mr. Rattner in November, accusing him of paying kickbacks to help his company land $150 million in state pension-fund investments in 2004 and 2005. He denied the charges.

The attorney general initially sought $26 million in fines and penalties and a lifetime ban from the securities industry. The settlement announced Thursday only bars Rattner from doing further business with any public pension fund in the state for five years.

OHIO

Ozzy blamed in DUI case

CLEVELAND | An Ohio DUI suspect is blaming his arrest on Ozzy Osbourne.

William Liston was arrested Christmas Eve in the Cleveland suburb of Solon after a period of erratic driving and an accident, according to police reports. WJW-TV reported that he told police officers, “Ozzy Osbourne and his music made me do it.”

The station did not say how the former Black Sabbath lead singer was supposedly at fault, beyond suggesting that Mr. Liston saw himself as having been driven mad. Mr. Osbourne’s hits as lead singer of the heavy-metal band and as a solo artist include “Paranoid” and “Road to Nowhere.”

Solon police say that at one point, Mr. Liston ran a sport utility vehicle off the road. The driver was not hurt.

Mr. Liston is awaiting arraignment on charges of operating a vehicle while impaired, hit-and-run and failure to control. He is to appear in court Tuesday.

According to WJW, police say they found a bottle containing four kinds of prescription pills in Mr. Liston’s pocket, In an unrelated case, Mr. Liston pleaded not guilty Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in a November break-in at a medical office. He was released on bond.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Oprah rejected on jail interview

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