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Speaker Pro Tem Vicencia to Announce Retirement

January 07, 1986|MARK GLADSTONE | Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Frank Vicencia (D-Bellflower), a six-term veteran member of Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown's inner circle, plans to announce his retirement today, a source close to the lawmaker said Monday.

Vicencia, 54, plans to return to Southern California to be closer to his family and devote more time to his insurance agency, the source said.

In October, the state Fair Political Practices Commission cleared Vicencia of any intentional wrongdoing in failing to report income he received from eight of the agency's clients, including a poker parlor controlled by W. Patrick Moriarty, who is awaiting sentencing on a number of political corruption counts, and a Hollywood Park concessionaire. The source said the Moriarty case was not a factor in Vicencia's decision to leave the Assembly.

Vicencia said he would announce his plans today. "Very frankly," he added, "I probably would have retired two years ago except for Willie Brown. I ran last time just because Willie was the Speaker. . . . We work well together."

Vicencia will join a growing list of veteran Democratic lawmakers who have left or have announced plans to leave the Assembly. Among others are Assemblyman Richard Alatorre, who was elected to the Los Angeles City Council last month; Assemblyman Richard Robinson of Garden Grove, who plans to run for Congress, and Assemblywoman Jean M. Duffy of Citrus Heights, who will step down to devote more time to her family.

Vicencia's 54th Assembly District includes Bellflower, Paramount, Compton and Lakewood. After working as a horse race industry lobbyist, Vicencia was elected to the Assembly in 1974. He was chairman of the Assembly Governmental Organization Committee and in 1982 was appointed speaker pro tem, presiding over Assembly floor meetings.

Vicencia, considered a moderate Democrat, was regarded as occupying a "safe" seat. In 1984, he beat his Republican opponent by a nearly 2-1 margin.

Local municipal officials had appealed to him to seek another term. Bellflower Mayor James Earle Christo said on Monday that he tried to change Vicencia's mind but that Vicencia insisted on retiring.

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