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THE BOTTOM LINE /Bill Ritter

New Director for Hotel-Motel Assn.

November 19, 1985|BILL RITTER

With little fanfare, longtime Hotel-Motel Assn. executive director Warren Swil has been replaced.

Rose Marie Starns, who handles public relations and management of Mission Bay Lessees Assn., will take over as part-time executive director Dec. 1. She will also remain with Mission Bay Lessees, which represents 14 major tourist-related enterprises, including the Hilton Hotel, Vacation Village and Sea World.

Association officials say the parting with Swil, who owns his own public relations agency, was amiable. Swil's other clients were "more demanding of him and he had to go out of town more often than before," said association president Jim Durbin, who heads Great Pacific Hotels here.

Other Hotel-Motel Assn. sources, however, said the organization outgrew Swil and needed someone with more experience dealing with City Hall politicians and staffers.

"We got more sophisticated in our approach and needed a change," said one source. "We needed things brought to our attention as they begin, not once they've become a problem."

Starns has gained experience dealing with city officials because her association's members lease land from the city. That immediately gives the association--which has "lateral concerns" with Mission Bay Lessees, according to Durbin--a staffer with political insight and established political connections, hotel industry sources contend.

As for Starns, her new assignment is "an extension of what I'm (already) doing."

Revenue Hunt for J. David Asia

One of the least-known chapters in the otherwise well-publicized J. David & Co. saga involves businessman Ling Wah Wong, who signed an exclusive services contract with J. David (Jerry) Dominelli to sell securities in the Orient for J. David Asia, a subsidiary of the fraud-ridden La Jolla investment firm.

Wong was given 20% of the voting common stock in J. David Asia, was paid an annual salary of $150,000, received a $150,000 bonus for joining the firm and was given a completely furnished apartment in Hong Kong that cost an estimated $350,000, according to Louis Metzger, the trustee now liquidating the bankrupt J. David estate.

The rub: Metzger has found no record of any revenue coming into the firm. The bottom line: Metzger may retrieve only about $11,000 from the liquidation of J. David Asia.

The upshot: Wong reportedly is now selling securities on his own in the Far East.

Fund-Raiser With Twist: 'Lousy Politician'

Most political fund-raisers held in La Jolla for incumbents would be overflowing with area business executives.

But when friends of state Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso hosted a reception for him Saturday at a fashionable La Jolla home, there were few business types to be found.

There were plenty of lawyers, however. And more than a couple of local jurists. Among the judicial attendees: Superior Court Judge Larry Kapiloff, Appellate Court Judge Robert O. Staniforth, and El Cajon Municipal Judge Victor Bianchini.

Reynoso, who is caught up in a confirmation fight along with California Chief Justice Rose Elizabeth Bird, was in good spirits, despite his admitted uneasiness--both personal and political--about stumping for support and funds to retain his seat.

His acumen as a politician leaves something to be desired, he acknowledged. As Exhibit A, he recalled his unsuccessful effort to be elected to local office in the late 1960s in Imperial County. Reynoso said he lost because he's a "lousy politician . . . which is probably why I need your help today."

Another Delay in Royal Inns Fraud Trial

Investors who sued Royal Inns of America and its accounting firm, Peat Marwick & Mitchell, eight years ago for fraud and securities law violations were supposed to go to trial Wednesday. But because of various legal delays, the trial has been postponed until Jan. 14. The case matches Milberg Weiss Bershad Specthrie & Lerach, the noted shareholder litigators, against Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, the established corporate law firm.

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