Solyndra Announced Layoffs After 2010 Election

Waiting off on bad news

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Nov 16, 2011  |  Updated 3:20 PM PDT
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Obama Speaks at Solyndra

Solyndra and its relationship with the Obama administration has been staying in the news cycle since late October.

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Solyndra Worker Speaks

Solyndra -- recently touted as an innovator by President Obama -- is reportedly shutting its doors. Employees are being turned away this morning.

Obama Speaks at Solyndra

President Barack Obama praised the Solyndra solar cell facility and workers during a visit to the Fremont plant.
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Beleaguered Department of Energy officials begged defunct solar panel manufacturer Solyndra to delay announcing layoffs until after last year's midterm elections, according to House Republicans.

House Republicans unveiled a 14-page memo on Tuesday in which contains an e-mail chain between Solyndra executives and Washington officials -- including Vice President Joe Biden's chief of staff. Solyndra officials told the Department of Energy in October 2010 that the company was running out of cash and would have to cut costs.

CEO Brian Harrison told Washington on Oct. 25 that he needed to announce layoffs; staffers for Biden as well as Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu asked Harrison to hold off until Nov. 3, the day after the election, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Last year, news of Solyndra's struggles first broke in the Nov. 3 New York Times, when 40 layoffs were announced.

Solyndra is under scrutiny as the poster company for both green jobs and federal stimulus spending. President Barack Obama personally visited the plant on a swing into California.
 

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