Former Bank of America Corp general counsel Timothy Mayopoulos said he was stunned to be fired as the bank was trying to wrap up its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co, after being told he would become the combined company's new general counsel.

According to Congressional testimony obtained by Reuters on Monday, Mayopoulos' December 10, 2008 firing came just nine days after he told Bank of America executives that Merrill's expected losses at the time and other factors provided no basis to invoke a contractual provision that would have allowed it to scrap the takeover.

I had never been fired from any job, and I had never heard of the general counsel of a major company being summarily dismissed for no apparent reason and with no explanation, he said in testimony.

Mayopoulos is now Fannie Mae's general counsel.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing on Tuesday to examine the government's role in the merger as well as whether Bank of America misled investors, among other things.

Brian Moynihan, who succeeded Mayopoulos as general counsel and held that role when the Merrill deal closed, is considered a leading candidate to replace retiring Bank of America Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis.

Mayopoulos said that Lewis had told him he would be general counsel of the combined company and said that Moynihan told him he had had no interest in being the general counsel.

(Reporting by Kim Dixon, Rachelle Younglai and Jonathan Stempel; Editing Bernard Orr)