The former treasurer of three Los Angeles County cities said Monday that he made an "honest mistake" when he placed--and lost--millions of city dollars in speculative investments.
"I gained nothing but a lot of headaches," said Ray Wood. "I have been in this field for 30 years and have had nothing like this happen before."
Wood was fired as treasurer for San Marino and Lawndale, and resigned from his post as finance director in Palmdale after city officials learned that he had violated their policies calling for conservative investments. The cities now expect to lose nearly $8 million.
Wood invested in government bonds bought on margin and, when the bond market fell, he was repeatedly forced to add money to the accounts or face forfeiting each city's investment.