Dick Grasso, you have been erased.

The New York Stock Exchange (search) has begun purging most traces - including portraits - that its highly-paid former chieftain ever existed.

Grasso was ousted in October in the midst of a scandal over his outrageous $190 million pay package.

At the urging of exchange members, the Big Board is planning to remove from its VIP entrance a plaque, dedicated to the heroes of Sept. 11 bearing Grasso's signature.

The plaque incensed members because it bore Grasso's name and not that of the institution itself, and some members felt that the boss seized the spotlight on 9/11 rather than recognize the efforts of the entire institution in helping to get the Big Board up and running in the wake of Sept. 11.

Grasso's pictures have also been removed from the walls of the executive offices on the 6th floor as well as the communications offices, say people who have been there.

"You couldn't go anywhere in the building without seeing his picture," said one member who asked not to be named.

More than most of the internal grousing at the exchange, the debate over the plaque reveals the intensity of feelings toward Grasso.

Many believe he was a critical factor in getting the exchange back on its feet. Others feel 9/11 began a period in which the Big Board became an extension of Grasso's self-promotion.

Each of the five major specialist firms dedicated $1 million to the Fallen Heroes fund (search).

In the immediate aftermath of Grasso's departure over his massive pay package, Michael LaBranche, CEO of specialist firm LaBranche & Co. (LAB), gave an impassioned speech at a membership meeting about the plaque and the fact that the NYSE was about the people who made it run, not the efforts of one man, said people who were there.