Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

ORANGE COUNTY BANKRUPTCY / Merrill Lynch Criminal Investigation
Settlement

They Were Also Served

June 20, 1997

Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi's announcement that his office and the Orange County Grand Jury had resolved their investigation of Merrill Lynch & Co. with a negotiated settlement ended another chapter in the nation's worst municipal bankruptcy. Capizzi concluded that it was in the taxpayers' best interests to short-circuit possible criminal or civil charges against Merrill, in return for $30 million and pledges that the brokerage would conduct business differently in the future. The district attorney had previously brought three criminal cases and three civil accusations against former or current officials. What happened in those cases:

CRIMINAL CHARGES

Matthew R. Raabe

Title: Former assistant treasurer; appointed treasurer after Robert L. Citron was forced to resign in December 1994; fired a few months later after discovery of interest skimming

Accusations: Five felony counts of misappropriating public funds, lying to investors and keeping false county records

Outcome: Convicted on all five counts. Sentencing date not yet set.

Faces: Possible 13 years in prison, $10 million in fines

Robert L. Citron

Title: Former treasurer

Accusations: Six felony counts of misappropriating public funds, lying to investors and keeping false county records

Faced: 14 years in prison, $10 million in fines

Outcome: Sentenced to a year in jail and fined $100,000; qualified for work-release program, so instead of a conventional jail term he does clerical work at the county jail during the day and spends nights at his Santa Ana home

Ronald S. Rubino

Title: Former county budget director; resigned months before bankruptcy to work for Leifer Capital in Santa Monica

Accusations: Two felony counts of aiding and abetting misappropriation of more than $60 million in public funds

Faced: Possible nine years in prison

Outcome: After jury deadlocked 9 to 3 last summer in favor of acquittal, Rubino pleaded no contest to a single felony charge of violating a public records law. Trial judge found him guilty and sentenced him to two years of unsupervised probation and 100 hours of community service. Record may be wiped clean if he successfully completes probation. Has since worked as a financial consultant for Orange County Transportation Authority and is offering consulting services to cities.

CIVIL ACCUSATIONS

Roger R. Stanton

Title: County supervisor for 16 years

Accusations: Willful misconduct for failure to oversee and keep a check on Citron's operations

Faced: Removal from office

Outcome: 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana dismissed charges against him, saying district attorney had overstepped authority; ruling was upheld by state Supreme Court. Stanton, who did not run for reelection last year, has since returned to his job as a business professor at Cal State Long Beach.

William G. Steiner

Title: County supervisor, appointed 1993

Accusations: Willful misconduct for failure to oversee and keep a check on Citron's operations

Faced: Removal from office

Outcome: 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana dismissed charges against him, saying district attorney had overstepped authority; ruling was upheld by state Supreme Court. Steiner has already announced he will not run for reelection in 1998. He plans to work for a children's services organization in Arizona.

Steve E. Lewis

Title: Auditor-controller since 1984; joined county government in 1965

Accusations: Willful misconduct for alleged failure to oversee and keep a check on Citron's operations

Faces: Removal from office

Outcome: Undetermined; 4th District Court of Appeal removed district attorney from prosecution, ruling he had obvious conflicts of interest. That decision was upheld by the California Supreme Court

Source: Times reports; Researched by DAVAN MAHARAJ / Los Angeles Times

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|