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United Rentals Fires CFO

John Milne wouldn't respond to questions about an SEC inquiry, the company says.
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United Rentals

(URI) - Get United Rentals, Inc. Report

fired John Milne, its president and chief financial officer, after he proved unwilling to respond to questions about a

Securities and Exchange Commission

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inquiry into the company.

The company said Milne wouldn't answer questions from a special committee of the board reviewing matters related to a previously disclosed SEC probe. The Greenwich, Conn., equipment rental company has started a search for a new CFO.

In a filing with regulators, United Rentals said Milne isn't entitled to any severance payment since he was terminated "for cause." However, he can be paid any accrued base salary, unreimbursed expenses and accrued vacation.

Milne can also receive an annual incentive bonus for 2004. The maximum amount he could receive is $825,000. He isn't entitled to any bonus for this year.

Additionally, United Rentals is repurchasing Milne's shares and warrants for about $7 million and as a result expects to record pretax costs of around $5 million in the third quarter.