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Carson Official Quits, but Council Beats Him to the Draw

May 07, 1987|GEORGE STEIN | Times Staff Writer

Carson City Administrator John Dangleis, under investigation for his role in awarding a $300,000-a-year insurance contract to a friend and business associate, told the City Council this week that he would be leaving when his contract expires June 30.

The council decided not to wait. Apparently upset after learning that Dangleis had not disclosed $1,200 in income from the insurance company that got the city's business, the council put Dangleis on administrative leave, with pay, until the contract runs out.

Two Listed as Agents

In March, The Times reported that in early 1986, Dangleis had steered a city contract worth about $300,000 a year to a friend and business associate, Peter Cobo. Dangleis and Cobo are listed in state records as agents for Pacific Standard Insurance Co., and Dangleis is listed as an associate in Cobo's Covina office.

The $1,200 income that Dangleis did not report on financial disclosure statements was for policies he had written for the agency, and was not connected with the city's business, City Attorney Glenn Watson said. Dangleis has denied any wrongdoing.

Status Under Review

Deputy Dist. Atty. Candace Beason said Wednesday that the District Attorney's Office is reviewing Dangleis' status as Pacific Standard agent and his role in the decision to award the business to Cobo's agency as a possible violation of the conflict-of-interest provisions of the state's Political Reform Act.

In his resignation letter to the council, Dangleis said he would resign his $82,000-a-year position June 30 "to pursue other interests" and, in the meantime, would assist the council in seeking a successor.

In the letter, which made no reference to the insurance investigation, Dangleis, 55, said he had wanted to retire last year but had stayed on for another year at the request of the council. He also received a $12,000 raise last year.

"Thank you for the opportunity to serve the city of Carson," Dangleis wrote. "I hope you share my thoughts that I have been able to contribute in a positive manner since my arrival in November, 1984."

But the council rejected Dangleis' plan to serve out the last two months of his contract, placing him on leave with pay immediately and spurning his offer of assistance in finding a new city administrator.

The move passed 3-0 without discussion after a closed session that lasted more than an hour. Voting for the move were Mayor Kay Calas, Mayor Pro Tem Vera Robles DeWitt and Councilman Michael Mitoma. Councilwoman Sylvia Muise, who declined to explain her vote, abstained, and Councilman Tom Mills was absent.

Parrott to Fill In

William Parrott, director of finance and acting director of personnel, was named acting city administrator.

As the meeting ended, Dangleis, appearing calm, shook hands with several employees, gathered up his papers and left. He declined a request for an interview. "I don't have time for you and you should know it," he told a reporter.

Before the council went into executive session, Mitoma said he would seek to remove Dangleis immediately because the city administrator had failed to report the income he continued to receive from Pacific Standard after becoming Carson city administrator in November, 1984.

Licensed in 1983

Dangleis, who was sponsored as an insurance agent by Pacific Standard, obtained his license in June, 1983, and worked as an agent until he went to Carson, according to a memo he wrote in March when his role in the insurance matter was first questioned.

It is common for insurance agents to receive a share of premiums for a number of years after a policy is sold. But Dangleis reported no outside income on any of his financial disclosure statements while city administrator in Carson.

Dangleis, who did not disclose his status as a Pacific Standard agent to the City Council until the controversy arose in March, told Mitoma that the commission income did not have to be reported because Pacific Standard did not do business in the city.

But City Attorney Watson said after the meeting that Pacific Standard, which has sold life insurance to city employees since 1969, does conduct business in Carson and that Dangleis had told him he would file revised financial disclosure statements that list the commissions from Pacific Standard.

In his March memo, Dangleis denied accepting any commission from Pacific Standard in connection with city business and added that he deliberately refrained from making the recommendation to offer its policies to employees. He said lower-ranking employees decided, without his input, to recommend to City Council that Pacific Standard be given city insurance business.

City Business Increased

In 1986, the city awarded Pacific Standard business that increased the city's monthly premiums from about $300 a month to about $27,000.

"He said he had nothing to do with it," said Mitoma, who is on a council committee investigating the insurance deal. "I knew that was false."

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