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Mayor Sells Stock Seen as Possible Conflict : Finances: Riordan divests shares in Pasadena firm that has dealings with MTA. He discloses purchase of $2.8-million vacation home in Idaho with his companion.

October 05, 1994|JAMES RAINEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan has moved to divest himself of stock holdings that presented a potential conflict of interest and, in a separate matter, purchased a vacation home in Idaho with companion Nancy Daly, according to a financial disclosure form.

Riordan's report to the city Ethics Commission shows changes in his finances since this spring, when he reported an investment portfolio of more than $70 million, not counting his holdings in a blind trust.

The mayor reported that in the first six months of 1994 he sold some of the nearly $10 million in stock he owned in Tetra Tech Inc., a Pasadena-based engineering services company. After the deadline for filing the financial disclosure form, Riordan sold the rest of his stock in the company, an aide said Tuesday.

The stock holding became controversial last summer when The Times reported that Riordan had voted as a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board in a way that benefited the company.

The mayor's vote had helped to activate a $1.05-million contract for Tetra Tech. The state Fair Political Practices Commission subsequently announced that it would investigate whether Riordan's vote violated conflict-of-interest laws.

Riordan said at the time that he had no idea Tetra Tech might benefit.

Still, a mayoral aide said Riordan decided "for a lot of reasons" to sell his 489,157 shares in Tetra Tech. "The feeling was if he can avoid even the appearance of a conflict by unloading this company, why not do it," said the aide, who asked not to be named.

A spokeswoman for the FPPC declined to say whether Riordan's sale of his Tetra Tech stock would end the agency's investigation into the matter.

Riordan also reported in the financial disclosure form the purchase of property in Ketchum, Ida., with his companion, Nancy Daly. The pair formed M & A Partnership to purchase the home.

Property records show that the house in north Ketchum, near the Sun Valley ski resort, has six bedrooms and six bathrooms and sits on two lots that total about 2.5 acres. The properties were valued at $2.8 million.

Riordan and Daly bought the home in March. The mayor has enjoyed fishing, mountain biking and skiing there, most recently visiting in late September.

A Riordan aide said not too much should be read into the joint purchase of the home.

"This is not a precursor to anything," the aide said. "It's a place they can go and enjoy and a place their kids and grandchildren can go and enjoy."

Riordan and Daly were on a 17-day cycling vacation in Europe and could not be reached for comment.

The mayor also reported divesting his holdings in several other companies. He sold 45,112 shares in Abbey Healthcare, 105,888 shares in American Health Care, 13,578 shares in Ornda Health Corp. and 45,600 of his nearly 365,000 shares in Mattel Inc.

Riordan also reported $750,000 in income from a real estate investment called Chaparral Village; $455,000 from the Riordan, Lewis and Haden partnership, $260,000 from his ownership of the Pantry restaurant Downtown and $130,000 from his partnership's holding in the Fine Arts Building, also Downtown.

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