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Hoover Switches Lawyers in Midstream

THE BOTTOM LINE

October 07, 1986|Bill Ritter

Nancy Hoover, the former No. 2 person at J. David & Co. whose legal status is as popular a topic as tax reform on the cocktail party circuit, has a new criminal attorney--Richie Marmaro from Los Angeles. He replaces Hoover's New York criminal lawyers.

"Nancy wanted a Southern California lawyer to represent her in the criminal investigation," said a source close to Hoover.

The legal switcheroo could lend credence to speculation that Hoover plans to fight the federal indictment that is expected to be issued against her sometime this month.

An indictment of Hoover is not likely to end the grand jury investigation of other J. David figures, sources said.

Hoover is now fulfilling probation conditions stemming from the Roger Hedgecock campaign financing case by delivering hot meals to the elderly and working in the Santa Barbara public library.

Bank Regulators Skip Overtime

It was indeed a Thursday--not a Friday--when federal regulators shut down insolvent Frontier Bank in Vista.

For years, regulators seized financial institutions on Fridays, which gave government agents the entire weekend to review books and records and organize the office either for liquidation or sale to another bank or S&L.

But regulators have recently switched to Thursdays. Two Thursdays ago, banks in Texas and Missouri were closed, then reopened the next day under new management.

"They've got this thing down to a science now," observed one banking industry expert, "so they don't have to close it for the weekend anymore."

That may be only part of the story, however. Another banker observed that federal bureaucrats are simply tired of working weekends on bank closures.

For good reason, perhaps. Frontier was the 108th (not the 105th, as incorrectly reported last week) bank closure this year. Regulators predict there will be 160 bank shutdowns this year. That's a lot of weekend work.

A Mix of Handy Solutions

How will Handyman Corp. sell or liquidate itself? There are no solid plans yet, but industry sources believe that the company's demise will require a potpourri of business transactions.

Some stores may be closed--especially those in Northern California--and others could be purchased by current management in a leveraged buyout. Stores most likely to be included in such a buyout are in Southern California and Arizona.

Late last month, Handyman, operator of 53 home-improvement centers, said it would either sell or liquidate its assets by year's end. Management believed that its liquidation value far exceeded both its book value and market value.

No Answer to the Central Question

The process of finding a buyer for troubled Central Savings & Loan, under management by Arizona-based MeraBank, continues. The latest word is that federal regulators have returned acquisition proposals to bidders, outlining what they think is wrong with each bid.

Citicorp Savings of Oakland has been the rumored front-runner, but a source familiar with the bidding process said last week that regulators perceive the Citicorp proposal as "too complicated."

Nassco Sings the Blues--to Reporter

National Steel & Shipbuilding executives got a shot at Secretary of the Navy John F. Lehman Jr. last week, talking with him for about half an hour about the shipbuilding industry's and Nassco's economic woes. (Because it lost out on a Navy construction contract, Nassco's 3,800-member work force will be trimmed to fewer than 1,500 by year's end.)

During the gathering, Nassco President Richard Vortman warned Lehman that large waterfront shipyards like his are in danger because of competition from small firms, with a fraction of Nassco's overhead, bidding on and winning Navy repair contracts.

After the discussion, company officials were shocked to discover that Times reporter Glenn F. Bunting, doing a profile of the secretary, was among Lehman's entourage attending the meeting.

Vortman--who knows how to work the press--did his best to suppress any displeasure over the embarrassing turn. He was concerned, however, that The Times would divulge sensitive contract pricing strategy discussed at the meeting that could be used by competitors.

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