Money manager lends jet to fly dying man to Maine

Posted Nov. 17, 2010, at 11:05 a.m.
Last modified Dec. 17, 2010, at 7:26 p.m.
UNDATED FILE PHOTO PROVIDED BY PIVOT POINT INC. AP provides access to this publicly distributed HANDOUT photo to be used only to illustrate news reporting or commentary on the facts or events depicted in this image.
Anonymous | AP
UNDATED FILE PHOTO PROVIDED BY PIVOT POINT INC. AP provides access to this publicly distributed HANDOUT photo to be used only to illustrate news reporting or commentary on the facts or events depicted in this image.

RAYMOND, Maine — A wealthy hedge fund manager who was the target of political attacks during his fiancee’s re-election campaign to Congress was the person who anonymously provided his private jet to fly a dying Kansas man to Maine to see his children.

Anthony Napoleone, 28, of Salina, Kan., was flown to Maine last month so he could spend his last days at a relative’s house in Raymond and be near his two young sons, who live with his ex-wife. At the time, the identity of the person who donated use of the jet was kept secret.

The Portland Press Herald reported Wednesday that the donor was S. Donald Sussman, founder and chairman of Paloma Partners, an investment firm in Greenwich, Conn., that manages more than $1.7 billion in funds.

Sussman came under scrutiny this fall when Republicans accused his fiancee, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, of ethics and campaign finance violations for traveling on his jet and for leading what they called an opulent lifestyle with Sussman’s wealth. Pingree easily won re-election.

Sussman said he first heard of Napoleone last month in a radio story describing how his family and friends were trying to raise money so he could come to come Maine and see his children before he dies. Napoleone has an incurable staph infection in his lower back that was brought on by wounds suffered in a stabbing two years ago that paralyzed him from the waist down. He has been given only weeks or months to live.

Sussman said he offered up his jet, along with a pilot and a nurse. “I hate to see people hurting,” he said.

Napoleone said he’s forever grateful to Sussman, whom he’s never met.

“I never figured I’d come back here,” he said. “I figured I’d be stuck in Kansas. He’s a great guy as far as I’m concerned.”

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