Thursday, May 7, 2009

Two More Villaraiogsa PENSION BOARD Appointee Quit Today In SEC Inquiry!

I think that makes three in a week! As the entire city knows, Zuma Dogg has been blogging and alerting the public, relentlessly during publicly boraodcast public TV appearances "on the record" before L.A. City Council. Looks like "harvest" time and ZD picked the BIG story out of City Hall rotunda "thin air."

I think eventually, this story may lead us to City Hall and people VERY close to Villaraiogsa, if not Villaraiogsa, himself.

Villaraigosa pension board appointees quit in SEC inquiry

Sean Harrigan, president of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions board, says he has 'done nothing wrong.' A colleague, Elliott Broidy, also stepped down.

By David Zahniser

4:52 PM PDT, May 7, 2009
Two of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's appointees to a city pension board resigned today, one month after receiving a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission asking them to identify income they had received from companies doing business with their agency.

Sean Harrigan and Elliott Broidy, two members of the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pensions board, were asked to provide information to the SEC, which is investigating allegations of kickbacks at a New York state pension fund.

Appearing at today's board meeting, Harrigan said the inquiry had created "a frenzy of media activity" that had placed him in "the eye of the storm."

"While I have done nothing wrong, I recognize that this entire matter has become a huge distraction for all parties involved in the business of operating an $11-billion public pension system," he said in a statement.

Villaraigosa spokesman Matt Szabo said the mayor and his two board members agreed the resignation was "the best course of action."

Harrigan and Broidy had served on a nine-member board that oversees a $10.7-billion portfolio on behalf of retired police officers and firefighters. Both men had been asked to disclose their communications with firms under scrutiny in the New York investigation.

Broidy, the founder of Markstone Capital, submitted his letter Thursday afternoon, saying he had decided to "pursue other avenues to contribute to the public good." He was originally appointed by Mayor James K. Hahn and reappointed by Villaraigosa.

The two resignations come a week after a third pension board appointee, Kelly Candaele, was asked by the mayor to quit the Los Angeles City Employees' Retirement System board after he participated in a campaign fundraiser for the city attorney campaign of City Councilman Jack Weiss -- a violation of city law.

Candaele hosted the event with two key figures at Wetherly Capital, a Los Angeles firm also mentioned in the SEC letters. Wetherly, known as a placement agent, pitches investment opportunities to public pension boards.

Meanwhile, investigators with the Ethics Commission have not concluded their investigation of Robert Aguallo, the former head of the agency where Candaele had served as a board member. Aguallo took a job with an investment fund shortly after it did business with his pension board.

Harrigan, 63, worked as a consultant to Wetherly for five months in 2006. The SEC asked him to disclose his communications with Wetherly, which has said it is fully cooperating in the inquiry.

Harrigan announced his resignation shortly after he and his colleagues voted to fire a consulting firm linked to the New York scandal. On a 7-0 vote, the pension board dismissed Dallas-based Aldus Equity, one of two firms that recommend private equity investments to the agency.

Fire and Police Pensions board member Sam Diannitto urged his colleagues to take the action, saying failure to do so would "give the image that this board condones 'pay to play.' "

"This board is tainted. It's tainted by this issue," he added.

Aldus was charged by the SEC with civil securities fraud for allegedly making improper payments to win business at the New York fund. A founding partner of Aldus, Saul Meyer, was arrested and charged last week by New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo with one count of criminal fraud.

Lawyers for Aldus and Meyer have denied the charges. In a statement, Aldus said it had served the pension board with "the highest degree of professionalism, integrity and transparency."

The Los Angeles board also voted to make its investment staff a temporary caretaker of the agency's private equity investment portfolio until a new firm can be hired. Before that vote took place, two board members -- Harrigan and Mike Carter -- questioned whether the work should go to the agency's other consultant, StepStone Group.

Harrigan was selected by Villaraigosa in August 2005 to serve at the pension agency. Seven months later, he formed Sean Harrigan LLC, picking up such clients as Wetherly Capital.

Before Harrigan joined the board, Wetherly had secured investments from Fire and Police Pensions for at least eight funds, according to company officials. On June 1, 2006, less than a year into his tenure, Harrigan voted to invest $10 million apiece in two Wetherly clients -- Nogales Investment Fund II and Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

Less than three months later, Harrigan became a paid consultant to Wetherly, serving in that role for five months. Harrigan said he advised the firm on pension matters outside California.

The city's ethics laws bar commissioners from negotiating their employment with companies that have matters pending before them. Harrigan said that was not an issue, however, because he took the work with Wetherly on Aug. 15, 2006 -- roughly 10 weeks after he voted on the firm's clients.

Click here for full article.

david.zahniser@latimes.com

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ALERT: Zuma Dogg has some memos regarding BIG PICTURE "connect the dots" in the L.A. City (LACERS) and State of California (CalPERS) pension scandal and SEC investigation. This memo REALLY tells the story and paints a very descriptive and scary story worthy of a Martin Scorcese film starring Robert Deniro and Joe Pesci. It would be posted already, but my computer screen is on the blink, and it requires more than just some copy and paste with a little added typing. Will work on it ASAP! PEOPLE...this is some SCARY sh*t when you start getting into money THIS big.

Here's something interesting:

Political contributions disclosed by campaign committees to the Federal Election Commission, sorted by name, zip code and employer. The data, from the FEC, covers the years 1979 through 2008.

Candidates

Daniel Weinstein, Weatherly Capitol Corp
$2,000 to Evan Bayh, Evan Bayh Committee from April 30, 2001 to October 30, 2002
Daniel Weinstein, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Dianne Feinstein, Feinstein For Senate from May 30, 2003 to April 12, 2005
$1,000 to Ken Salazar, Salazar For Senate on October 20, 2004
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Di, Weatherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Richard Gephardt, Gephardt For President Inc. from March 31, 2003 to September 30, 2003
Daniel Weinstein, Investor, Weatherly Capitol Corp.
$2,100 to Evan Bayh, Evan Bayh Committee on October 31, 2006
Daniel Weinstein, Investments, Wetherly Capital
$4,000 to Jane Harman, Friends Of Jane Harman from December 1, 2003 to December 1, 2005
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Director, Wetherly Capital
$1,000 to Rahm Emanuel, Friends Of Rahm Emanuel on March 31, 2004
Daniel Weinstein, Finance, Wetherly Capital Group
$1,000 to Hillary Clinton, Friends Of Hillary on March 20, 2006
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Dir, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Robert Casey, Pennsylvania Senate 2006 on October 19, 2006
$1,000 to Hillary Clinton, Friends Of Hillary on April 21, 2006
$1,600 to John Kerry, Kerry-Edwards 2004 Inc. General Election Legal And Accounting Compliance Fund on August 1, 2003
$3,600 to John Kerry, John Kerry For President Inc from March 5, 2003 to June 30, 2003
Daniel Weinstein, Partner, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,300 to Laura Richardson, Richardson For Congress on June 25, 2007

Committees

Daniel Weinstein, Weatherly Capitol Corp
$2,000 to Evan Bayh Committee from April 30, 2001 to October 30, 2002
Daniel Weinstein, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Feinstein For Senate from May 30, 2003 to April 12, 2005
$1,000 to Salazar For Senate on October 20, 2004
$500 to Alex Sanders For The Us Senate on September 25, 2002
Daniel Weinstein, B Group, W
$250 to Casso For Congress on May 8, 1998
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Di, Weatherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Gephardt For President Inc. from March 31, 2003 to September 30, 2003
Daniel Weinstein, Investor, Weatherly Capitol Corp.
$2,100 to Evan Bayh Committee on October 31, 2006
Daniel Weinstein, Investments, Wetherly Capital
$4,000 to Friends Of Jane Harman from December 1, 2003 to December 1, 2005
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Director, Wetherly Capital
$1,000 to Friends Of Rahm Emanuel on March 31, 2004
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Partner, Wetherly Capital
$800 to Rodriguez For Congress from August 24, 2006 to November 7, 2006
Daniel Weinstein, Finance, Wetherly Capital Group
$1,000 to Friends Of Hillary on March 20, 2006
Daniel Weinstein, Managing Dir, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,000 to Pennsylvania Senate 2006 on October 19, 2006
$1,000 to Friends Of Hillary on April 21, 2006
$1,000 to Joe Torsella For Congress on April 21, 2004
$1,000 to Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on January 19, 2004
$1,600 to Kerry-Edwards 2004 Inc. General Election Legal And Accounting Compliance Fund on August 1, 2003
$3,600 to John Kerry For President Inc from March 5, 2003 to June 30, 2003
Daniel Weinstein, Partner, Wetherly Capital Group
$2,300 to Richardson For Congress on June 25, 2007
Daniel Weinstein, President, Wetherly Financial
$500 to L A Pac on August 2, 2002

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