The Anatomy of Public Corruption


My friends, clients and customers have been slaughtered year after year then someone went after my relatives and killed them while tricking everybody or perhaps not.

Most of you wouldn't last a day in my shoes. 


Ex-CalPERS official Villalobos commits suicide

 Two former CalPERS officials indicted on fraud charges

Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — Three years after a major influence-peddling scandal rocked California and the nation's largest public pension fund, a federal grand jury indicted two former top officials on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges.
The indictment, unsealed Monday in San Francisco, names as defendants Federico Buenrostro Jr. of Sacramento, a former chief executive of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, and Alfred J.R. Villalobos of Reno, Nev., a former CalPERS board member and one-time deputy Los Angeles mayor.
The charges are the culmination of a far-reaching investigation into the way the agency invested its money and how the former insider, Villalobos, collected tens of millions of dollars from Wall Street firms for steering CalPERS business their way.
Neither man could be reached for comment, but they have consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with their CalPERS work. Villalobos' attorney said his client was innocent and would fight the charges.

The agency invests $255 billion of employee and governmental contributions to provide retirement benefits for more than 1.6 million public employees, retirees and their families.
Once a highly regarded organization with an international reputation for smart, ethical investing, CalPERS now must wrangle with questions about commissions paid to the little-known intermediaries and their relationships with fund officials.
Steep investment losses during the recent recession also tarnished the fund. Since then, the CalPERS board has conducted detailed investigations, ordered major changes in the way it operates and improved its financial performance.
CalPERS President Rob Feckner called the long-expected federal indictments "another step in the road to justice."
Pension fund officials hailed the action as an affirmation that the fund moved forcefully to clean up its relations with intermediaries, such as Villalobos, who collected exorbitant fees from private equity investment funds after they signed lucrative contracts with CalPERS.
The scandal at CalPERS and subsequent investigations and the federal indictment should be a warning to public pension funds across the country that they need to root out any potential or actual corruption, said Edward Siedle, a forensic expert specializing in pension funds.
"What the Department of Justice is doing is sending a shot across the bow," he said, "that these matters are taken seriously and people will prosecute."
Pension fund officials credited their own, in-house 2011 review with providing significant findings that helped prosecutors make progress toward indictments.
At the same time, critics have continued to pummel CalPERS and other large government-worker pension funds for being dangerously underfunded and providing overly generous retirement and health benefits. Those costs unfairly burden taxpayers, most of whom have no access to similar largesse, critics say.
At the center of the investigation was the role of placement agents, the middlemen or intermediaries hired by private equity firms and other financial institutions to win CalPERS business. The investigation came during a rough financial stretch for CalPERS. Its investment portfolio value had plummeted nearly $100 billion, to $169 billion, during the recession.
Since then, the Legislature approved a new law requiring placement agents to be registered as lobbyists, and CalPERS has enacted stringent new policies on ethics, governance, conflicts of interest, and board gifts and travel.
"Given its many reforms, CalPERS is a better, stronger and more transparent pension system than ever," said Philip Khinda, a Washington, D.C., lawyer, who conducted the special review.
The indictment charged Villalobos with conspiracy to defraud the United States, engaging in a false scheme against the United States and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Buenrostro was accused of the same crimes, plus making a false statement to the United States and obstruction of justice.
The maximum penalty for the mail and wire fraud is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of loss, whichever is greater. The other charges carry five-year maximum prison terms and fines similar to the mail and wire fraud charges.
Villalobos, 69, and Buenrostro, 64, were longtime friends. The indictment set out a series of transactions in 2007 and 2008 between the two men while Buenrostro was still running CalPERS.
At the time, Villalobos was working for the New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management as a placement agent to help it get CalPERS business.
According to the indictment, the two men conspired to commit fraud by creating and sending phony documents. These disclosures were needed to comply with a requirement from Apollo for proof that CalPERS officials knew Villalobos was being paid large amounts of money to secure $3 billion in CalPERS business.
Buenrostro then retired from CalPERS and went to work for Villalobos' Nevada firm, ARVCO Capital Research, shortly after Apollo made its last commission payment to Villalobos.
On Monday, both men appeared with their lawyers in federal court in San Francisco, and each was released on $500,000 bail. Later, Buenrostro's lawyer, William Kimball, declined to comment. Villalobos' attorney, Donald Etra, said his client "denies all charges" and will vigorously defend himself.
The two defendants also face civil lawsuits brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the California attorney general's office.
The Justice Department said Monday that the federal indictment capped a 2 1/2 year probe that was assisted by the U.S. Postal Service, FBI, SEC and Secret Service.
In a statement, Apollo said it was troubled by the charges against Villalobos and Buenrostro and "was not aware of any misconduct engaged in by Mr. Villalobos during the time he worked with Apollo." Apollo stressed that it had "cooperated fully with all regulatory agencies investigating this matter and will continue to do so."
Apollo paid Villalobos $14 million for CalPERS deals mentioned in the indictment, court papers said.
In all, Villalobos and his companies got a total of $48 million from Apollo from 2005 to 2009, according to an SEC filing in April of last year. He also received an additional $12 million in placement fees from other investment funds that managed CalPERS money.
Times staff writer Andrew Tangel in New York contributed to this story

Major General Joseph Franklin and Blum Capital

JOSEPH P. FRANKLIN, age 80, has served as a Director of the Company since March 1990. In December 1993, he was elected Chairman of the Board and, from December 1993 through October 1998, served as Chief Executive Officer of the Company. From August 1987 to November 1993, he was the chief executive officer of Franklin S.A., a Spanish business consulting company located in Madrid, Spain, specializing in joint ventures, and was a director of several prominent Spanish companies. General Franklin was a Major General in the United States Army until he retired in July 1987. He was Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the US Military Academy at West Point from 2000 to 2004. General Franklin’s current service as Chairman of the Board of the Company and prior service as Chief Executive Officer of the Company, as well has his prior board and executive management experience, allows him to provide in-depth knowledge of the Company and other valuable insight and knowledge to the Board.

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The Buchanan Family Murders


#AccentureMurders are #BracMurders lead to #deadbankers are just @deadconstituents

Friends from the banking world.  

In 1995 I was developing applications for Computerland, then Irwin Home Equity, GE Nuclear and AT&T.  My projects were chosen were generally 3 to 6 months so I could pursue direct clients.

In 2012, I met with Concord City Attorney Mark Coon.  He's dead.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Fremont Group Blood Money

Dear Mr. Gates,

I applaud your philanthropic efforts in regards to Malaria and water.  We have met several times over several decades.  Mostly at Developers Days or various conference at the Claremont Hotel in Oakland and locations in SF.  Your efforts on touting Microsoft solutions such NT 3.5, early versions of Excel on the Mac, OS 2 Warp and then Windows 3.0 etc. I've been with you since DOS.

This purpose of this letter is multi-faceted, one part is to share what's happened to me, my family, friends, customers and clients since our mutual appearances on PBS, CNN, WSJ and Boston Globe.

Since the 80's I've endured endless setbacks courtroom losses, vanishing witnesses and accidents.  A critical link emerged in 2012 to the core of these losses which straight into the heart of your foundation.

Issue #1 ~ Murders, Arson, Accidents and Suicides

Issue #2 ~ A 2002 investment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

I'll assume that the Foundation intentions were pure and based on sound advice.  That investment leads to my story, leads to the above appearances, and worst of all leads to 9/11, several of my past 

Issue #3 ~Dangerous Explosions 
I operate several blogs and for six months trying to Azure Platform Services working which is something you need be aware of.  The six months of issues were 100% Azure Centric and pathetic but worse is a possible connection to the Paris Bombings.  We have something deadly in common with your investors and your attorneys that connects to

Issue #4 

Issue #5 ~ Comparing Our Housing Situation

The man that appeared with you on PBS debating the H-1b visa in June 2007 lives on a sheet of plywood, a tarp, and sleeping whereas you've got this nice house on a lake.  Other differences as I've been beaten, mugged and hospitalized numerous times, several near fatal bacterial events, several heart attack events and medication that induced psychosis 

I've personally endured a long medical battle that dragged on for years, hospitalizations from bacteria, poison and asthma.  One diagnosis was I was suffering from parasites which turned into infections that again landed me in the hospitical

Since you've likely studied epidemiological statistics given your emphasis on water which is really the gift of life and a bigger gift of quality of life. 


Frequency Electronics Inc. of New York


Safeway Managemet and


Safeway Murders
The story I'll be telling about Safeway involves, a murders, suicide that was a murder and murder near an employee who died.

Supermarket chain formed 1926 by the merger of M. B. Skaggs' Skaggs Stores with the Sam Seelig Company. It was acquired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in 1986. After extensive restructuring and the sale of half its stores, Safeway was made a public company again in 1990. It presently has 1,775 stores in North America, operating under the Safeway brand and a variety of lesser names including Carrs (Alaska), Casa Ley (Mexico), Dominick's (Illinois), Genuardi's (Pennsylvania), Pak 'n' Save (California), Randall's (Texas), Tom Thumb Food & Pharmacy (Texas), and Vons (California). Acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2015.
Official Website:
Corporate headquarters:
Pleasanton, CA
$38.4B (2005)
NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Steve Burd Business 1949
CEO of Safeway
Brian C. Cornell Business c. 1960
CEO of Michaels Stores
Charles K. Crovitz Business c. 1953
EVP at Gap, 1998-2003
Julian C. Day Business 14-May-1952
CEO of Radio Shack
Jim Donald Business ?
President and CEO of Starbucks
Lawrence V. Jackson Business c. 1953
Wal-Mart executive
Peter A. Magowan Business 5-Apr-1942
President, San Francisco Giants
Charles E. Merrill Business 19-Oct-1885 6-Oct-1956 Founder of Merrill Lynch
Vasant M. Prabhu Business c. 1960
CFO of Starwood Hotels
M. B. Skaggs Business 5-Apr-1888 8-May-1976 Founder of Safeway
NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Steve Burd Business 1949
CEO of Safeway
Janet E. Grove Business c. 1952
Vice Chairman of Federated Stores
Mohan Gyani Business c. 1951
CEO of AT&T Wireless, 2000-03
Paul Hazen Business 1941
CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, 1995-98
Robert I. MacDonnell Business c. 1937
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Douglas F. Mackenzie Business c. 1959
Partner, Kleiner Perkins
Rebecca A. Stirn Business c. 1952
President of Aesthetic Sciences Corporation
William Y. Tauscher Business c. 1949
CEO of ComputerLand, 1987-99
Raymond G. Viault Business c. 1945
Vice Chairman of General Mills, 1996-2004
NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Sam Ginn Business c. 1938
CEO of Airtouch Communications, 1993-99
Henry Kravis Business 6-Jan-1944
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
Peter A. Magowan Business 5-Apr-1942
President, San Francisco Giants
George R. Roberts Business 1944
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts
M. B. Skaggs Business 5-Apr-1888 8-May-1976 Founder of Safeway
NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Joe Albertson Business 17-Oct-1906 20-Jan-1993 Founder of Albertson's
Kathryn Walt Hall Diplomat 1947
US Ambassador to Austria, 1997-2001
George W. Off Business c. 1947
Checkpoint Systems
Mike Vaska Activist 1960
Discovery Institute

Catellus Development, a Murder Nexus Not an Octopus

Catellus Development, the Next Octopus?

Thirty-seven years before writer Frank Norris created the fictional Octopus in his 1901 novel, the U.S. Congress gave birth to its real-life counterpart by granting the Southern-Pacific Railway company a checkerboard pattern of right-of-way land parcels lining either side of their tracks from Texas to California. Although the railroad would dry up economically in the mid-20th century, and disappear entirely in 1994 when it was swallowed by the Union-Pacific Railroad in a merger, the Octopus that Congress created still lives on in the form of the real estate giant that it grew into from those 1864 checkerboard easements. This company, once known as Southern-Pacific Realty, has tentacles that span the continent. It is now known as Catellus Development, and it is an absolute Colossus.

Catellus is the second largest private landholder in the western United States with 817,000 acres in California alone. It develops commercial real estate, shopping centers, and housing, and acquired a number of properties on some defunct military bases during the Clinton administration’s base closure program. Catellus has also been very active in a number of land swaps, where it exchanged mostly worthless rural properties for prime development land within urban areas, or for land directly adjacent to planned freeways.

Catellus is headed by chairman/ CEO Nelson Rising, a big-time developer formerly with McGuire-Thomas. This is the development company that built Playa Vista in Los Angeles, the mixed-use development out on the Ballona Wetlands. Rising used to be a Hollywood producer whose 1971 film, The Candidate, examined the political corruption of an environmental idealist who sacrifices his principles to become elected as one of California’s U.S. Senators.

Catellus is one of the most politically wired development companies in California with significant ties to Senator Dianne Feinstein, outgoing San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (who was formerly their attorney), California State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton (another ex-Catellus attorney), and John Foran, the MTC lobbyist who briefly served as Catellus’ lobbyist on a very provocative piece of legislation sponsored by Burton in 1997. Another client with Foran’s lobbying firm Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott is the LA Metropolitan Transit Authority, whose offices happen to be in another Catellus property, renovated with redevelopment money in downtown Los Angeles at Union Station.
In a 1997 article published in Forbes Magazine, writer Mary Beth Grover put it this way: “With real estate, politics matters a lot, almost as much as location. In California real estate, politics is the most important thing (and) aside from sheer corruption, there are a number of ways to appease these little gods. Catellus knows the game well.”

It certainly hasn’t hurt Catellus’ cause that the corporation and its officers, including ex-producer Rising, have been significant contributors to the political war chests of both Willie Brown and Dianne Feinstein. Besides the $140,000 in legal fees that Willie Brown received from Catellus as one of its attorneys from 1982 until 1994, Brown’s two San Francisco mayoral campaigns also received a lot of cash from Catellus. So did Feinstein’s U.S. Senate campaigns. Over the past ten years, Feinstein’s campaigns have received over $150,000 from Catellus Development. Brown’s two mayoral campaigns landed a total of close to $50,000 from Catellus and individuals associated with the corporation.

Senator Feinstein has proven very successful in promoting a land-swap project that involves Catellus properties in Southern California. The Senator is very proud of this project and lists it as one of her prime accomplishments on her Congresssional website. This is the Desert Wilderness Protection Act of 1994 (the act was funded with additional legislation sponsored by Senator Feinstein in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 sessions of Congress). Now known as The Desert Wildlands Act, this bill involves the transfer of over 400,000 acres of Catellus land in the Mojave Desert to the federal government to create a natural preserve. Of the $56.5 million purchase price for the Catellus desert properties, $30 million of the money is coming from the U.S. government. while the additional $26.5 million is coming from a non-profit environmental group called The Wildlands Conservancy.

In a press release put out by Senator Feinstein’s office, Nelson Rising gave credit to Feinstein: “The successful completion of these transactions would not have been possible without the significant efforts of Senator Dianne Feinstein.” Rising then went on to credit David Myers and the Wildlands Conservancy for “rais(ing) the private funds necessary to complete these sales.”

But a few critics wonder whether this massive land swap was such a great deal for anybody other than Catellus.

In a column titled “A Succession of Land Deals” by Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters published in March of 2001, Walters wrote that the Catellus desert swap amounted to a deal where “Catellus walked away with cash and valuable land and gave up virtually nothing of real value. It was a coup for the company’s top executive, Nelson Rising.” Walters went on to state that the Catellus desert bill bore some similarities to the Headwaters Forest bill in that both were used to appease envirnonmentalists who favored the desert park and wanted to preserve the forest. Senator Feinstein negotiated the half-billion dollar Headwaters deal right before she authored the Desert Wildlands bill.
Jeffrey Baird, a computer programmer who works for the County of San Bernardino, says that the whole thing stinks to high heaven. “I believe that non-profits (e.g. The Wildlands Conservancy) masquerading under the cloak of “environmentalism” are being used as vehicles to initiate a series of land purchases/swaps that will ultimately benefit Catellus Corporation and their friends at the expense of John Q. Public.” Baird says that Catellus is giving up desert lands that are undevelopable in exchange for lands adjacent to freeways that are well traveled and worth considerably more.
Baird pointed out that there seems to be a connection between Catellus Development and The Wildlands Conservancy that constitutes a direct conflict of interest, and says that he fears “that the resulting charitable gift/sales of ‘ostensibly appreciated land’ are inconsistent with the underlying land values of these properties as determined by the county assessor.” Baird says that the assessed values of the land when they are transferred from Catellus ownership to the Wildlands Conservancy increase sharply, as high as 300% in some cases, yielding huge tax benefits to Catellus. Baird has been trying to get a number of investigative agencies to look into the issue without success.
Baird also believes that some of the federal land transfers involve public lands that have been illegally transferred to private ownership by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Baird has shown this reporter a series of land parcels with map overlays that seems to establish his contention that the parcels were in fact public lands as little as ten years ago. “I think the whole thing is a money pump,” said Baird.
In a May 1997 issue of Media ByPass magazine, writer Karen Lee Bixman explored an area of the land swap that made some of Baird’s concerns look pale by comparison. In this story titled “The Great Gold Heist: The Desert Wilderness Protection Act,” Bixman characterized Senator Dianne Feinstein as “The Modern Jesse James.” Exchanging worthless desert land for more viable commercial land alongside interchanges is bad public policy, but swapping worthless land for rich, gold-bearing deposits was also scheduled.
Bixman wrote: “the real motivation for the passage of (the Feinstein) bill lies with the special interest groups that would benefit monetarily.Through a complex series of land exchanges, Catellus will receive land that contains some of the richest gold deposits in the world.”
Part of the Catellus land exchanges in the Mojave included a swap for a decommissioned military base called Chocolate Mountain. Bixman said geologists told her that Chocolate Mountain has deposits worth somewhere between $40-100 billion. Catellus owns the nearby Mesquite mine in the Chocolate Rift zone, which, Bixman wrote, “is one of the ten most profitable mines in the United States and has some of the most profitable gold deposits of any mine in the world.”
Catellus Development is based in San Francisco at 201 Mission Street — just across the street from the Transbay Terminal. Catellus has a number of high profile, multi-billion dollar projects underway in the Bay Area, including the $3 billion Mission Bay project in San Francisco, and the $1.5 billion military base conversion project in Alameda, at the former Fisk Naval Air Center. Both of these projects are mixed-use developments that will include commercial office space, retail space, and housing.
There is a strong possibility that Catellus (CDX on the New York Stock Exchange listings) could be the latest publicly-traded stock which might experience a sudden price rise from a process related to transportation projects. These projects include the planned redevelopment of the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco and the so-called Mid-Bay Crossing bridge being studied by the Metropolitan Transit Authority.
On the first project, a Transbay Terminal bill was passed in the 2000 California legislative session that was carried by Assemblyman Dion Aroner, an East Bay legislator. This bill, AB 1409, proposed a new 900,000 square foot transit building with commercial offices above it that was initially pegged to cost $900 million. Although Aroner was the bill’s nominal author, sources at the State Capitol told this reporter that outgoing San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown had a large hand in drafting the legislation.
The bill was essentially a land swap with the City of San Francisco. With a new tower atop the Transbay Terminal, and adding in the adjacent lands that were then scheduled for the swap, the City of San Francisco would have received approximately $4 billion worth of prime development land for a buck. One of the potential developers surely to be considered for this project is Catellus Development, whose corporate headquarters at 201 Mission Street, is adjacent to the terminal site.
The Aroner bill also carried an exemption in it stating that the State of California would not receive fair market value for the exchange. At the end of that year’s legislative session, then-Governor Gray Davis vetoed the bill but said that he would try to accomplish the same goal by handling the matter “administratively,” which presumably meant that the package could go through without the legislature having to enact a new piece of legislation. Neither Davis nor Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger would comment for this story. At present, the new, so-called “Great Expectations” terminal project is still on hold.
The second potentially profit-producing process involves a possible new bridge across the San Francisco Bay.
Almost directly after San Francisco Chronicle columnist Alan Temko’s article touting the bridge of his good friend, the late T. Y. Lin, appeared on the newspaper’s front page in its March 10, 1997 edition, the MTC’s chief lobbyist, John Foran, was hired as a lobbyist by Catellus Development to work on behalf of SB 1215. This piece of legislation was authored by San Francisco’s State Senator John Burton, the man who describes himself as “Willie Brown’s best friend.” Burton was also once Catellus’ lawyer. The bill was co-sponsored by the two Assembly members from San Francisco, Carole Migden and Kevin Shelley, both of who are part of what former State Senator, now Sam Mateo Superior Court Judge, Quentin Kopp calls “Willie Brown’s cabal.”
The Burton bill resolved a long-standing dispute between the City of San Francisco, the State of California, and the private developers, Catellus, doing business under the name of Western Realty. The bill allowed the development of filled tidelands to take place in Mission Bay and also provided for a new University of California San Francisco campus. SB 1215 was passed as an emergency measure that took effect immediately when it was signed by then-Governor Pete Wilson in August, 1997. The bill didn’t receive one nay vote as it went through the legislature, nor did it generate one single news story despite its huge potential impact on the long-stalled Mission Bay project.
What is most interesting about the hiring of John Foran on the Burton/Catellus bill was the length of his contract with Catellus and how much money he was paid. Foran’s term of employment was 22 days — from March 20 through April 11 of 1997, for which he was paid almost $17,000. That’s an astronomical rate of pay for a contract lobbyist to represent a client on one piece of legislation only. During that same time, Foran’s yearly pay for the MTC was $50,000.
What was a transportation lobbyist, the man who founded the MTC, doing on behalf of a real estate company like Catellus?
When I asked Willie Brown about this bill at a televised press conference in the summer of 1998, he denied that he knew anything about it. This seemed puzzling, as the main lobbyist for Catellus Development, Marsha Smolins, then happened to be the main lobbyist for the City and County of San Francisco. Smolins began her career in politics as an aide to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Brown’s first response to my question was that he didn’t know what I was talking about. When I pressed him with a follow-up question, he said, “I’ll have my people get back to you about it.” Since this bill provided for a new UCSF campus, and since such a campus would likely demonstrate a significant demand for transit, I asked him whether or not he had given any thought to the possibility of a new Mid-Bay Crossing bridge. “You’d better watch yourself, or you’re going to go off that bridge,” said Mayor Brown.
A year-and-a-half after he had chided me about “going off that bridge,” and almost directly after being reelected Mayor of San Francisco in the fall of 1999, Willie Brown received an appointment to the $100 billion California Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) pension fund investment board — the investment fund that once owned 80% of Catellus Development stock and is still its largest institutional shareholder at somewhere close to 40%. Shortly after Mayor Brown was appointed to PERS, Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter to Governor Gray Davis asking for an updated study of the Mid-Bay Crossing bridge. If such a bridge design included a landfall at either of the two Catellus properties — at Mission Bay or the Fisk Naval Air Center base conversion — it would likely have a beneficial effect on Catellus stock prices.
In near record time, MTC approved the Mid-Bay Crossing study, which is currently underway. Then Willie Brown, Dianne Feinstein and the San Francisco bunch took a shot at winning the trifecta: three stocks with three bills.
The first bill was the Catellus-sponsored legislation, SB 1215, from the 1997 session (As a matter of fact, during the passage of SB1215, Catellus stock went from below $10 a share to $18 a share. On November 26 and 28, 1997, after Burton’s SB 1215 had become law, almost 4.25 million shares of Catellus stock were traded at over $18 a share. Insider activity was heavy, with over 3 million shares traded.) Senator John Burton’s additional bill in the 2000 session, SB 1562, called for development of a new rail link between San Francisco Airport and another airport on land owned by a city and county and located in another county. There’s only one likely place that this can be: the former Fisk Naval Air Center in Alameda. By some strange quirk, part of this airbase is within the city and county limits of San Francisco. The Fisk Center is presently being developed as a mixed-use commercial office and retail center with 350 dwelling units. The developer is Catellus.
Directly after Senator Burton’s first bill, SB 1215, was passed in the 1997 session, Burton’s campaign received three contributions totalling $55,000 from the Southern California District Council of Carpenter’s Political Action Fund. Richard Blum, Senator Feinstein’s husband, is this union’s pension fund manager.
Then, on the day that he introduced SB 1562 in the 2000 session, Burton’s campaign received a $4,000 contribution from Nossaman, Guthner, Knox and Elliott, the lobbyist group headed by John Foran who have been active on every speculation-driven stock from the bullet train in 1982 until now.
When the legislature went to conference committee in June, 2000, a new paragraph was amended into the trailer bill that was the financing scheme for the purchase of the Cargill Salt Flats near San Francisco Airport. Cargill Salt is another Nossaman, Guthner client. The trailer bill was Assemblywoman Carole Migden’s AB 398. Migden’s original bill called for $150 million in state funds to help acquire the Cargill salt flats. (When Governor Gray Davis signed the bill into law, the amount of state funds had been reduced to $20 million). Besides acquiring the Salt Flats for environmentalists, the land was also scheduled to be used for the estimated $3 billion expansion of the San Francisco Airport.
During the hearing for AB 398, Migden mentioned the fact that Senator Feinstein was carrying the ball for the acquisition in Congress with a “spot” bill. The same type of legislative vehicle that drove the Bay Bridge and Bullet Train profit-making processes. What she didn’t mention was that URS Greiner, Richard Blum’s company, was chosen as the engineering design firm in charge of the $3 billion SFO expansion, presently on hold.
Like all the other transportation bills dating back to the bullet train in 1982, the Burton-Migden-Feinstein package began as “spot” bills that contain the famous California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemptions and other key elements these legislative wizards have been refining ever since. It also involved an airport runway “competition” for SFO that was very like that for the Bay Bridge competion. This time, the notice for the competition was posted the very day the competition closed. But this time, there were five finalists, not two. It wasn’t much of a surprise to learn that URS, Blum’s firm, won.
All the usual players were present when the deal was going down in conference committee during the 2000 session. Mayor Willie Brown and his people were there. Willie called the airport expansion “a golden opportunity” when he gave testimony on the bill’s behalf. Senator John Burton was up on the dais. The MTC’s Executive Director Steve Heminger was circling around, and so was MTC founder, John Foran. So were other lobbyists from the Nossaman, Guthner group. Notably absent were Richard Blum and his wife, Senator Dianne Feinstein.
In the weeks leading up to the Burton-Migden-Feinstein legislative package, the savvy investors were furiously buying stock. Richard Blum was purchasing URS stock in 100,000 share lots; it had fallen from 28 to 12 in the time that Willie Brown and Dianne Feinstein made every effort to kill the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge that the MTC had chosen in May, 1998. Then URS turned around and began rising again, from $12 to $20 a share in six months. Lockheed-Martin (LMT on the NYSE) would experience a significant jump in 2001-2002 when the new high-speed train legislation went through. The MTC was studying a new southern crossing bridge. Can you imagine the effect on Catellus stock if the bridge runs from one of their properties to a landfall on another property they own? The previous MTC study in 1991 alluded to such a possibility. As a matter of fact, the late T.Y. Lin already had a bridge designed for a Mid-Bay crossing. And who cares if it ever gets built? Just take the speculation-driven profit and move on to the next process.
RICHARD TRAINOR is an investigative reporter living in Eugene,

ComputerLand - Merisel - Synnex

From late 1995 to March 1996 I was subcontracted to ComputerLand Corporate but in another life my former Cabinet Shop built cabinets and casework for Computerland Stores, Safeway and Contra Costa College District.

There is distinctly unique about Steve Burd's connection to Hillside Covenant Church where their youth director breached my laptop in 2011 and several weeks my car was deliberately totaled in Lafayette CA but Chief Christanson  refused to investigate.  Several months later I handed documents to Chief Bryden about Gary Vinson Collins who is now dead. 

In 1995 I revealed my reports to ComputerLand Management where it was clear as day they we're losing or had lost millions.  The losses were the classic "Rocks in the Box" where returns were arriving after being stalled at VanStar distribution. 

Long after Merisel bought the rights to distribution the losses tallied up to millions.  I remember arguing with one long term employee who later was in tears.  When Merisel's stock tanked she lost everything that she invested in the closed ended investment model. 

More later. 

Proc-Type: 2001,MIC-CLEAR

0000724941-97-000005.txt : 19970416
0000724941-97-000005.hdr.sgml : 19970416
ACCESSION NUMBER:  0000724941-97-000005
ITEM INFORMATION:  Acquisition or disposition of assets
FILED AS OF DATE:  19970415


  CENTRAL INDEX KEY:   0000724941
  IRS NUMBER:    954172359

  SEC ACT:  1934 Act
  SEC FILE NUMBER: 000-17156
  FILM NUMBER:  97580987

  ZIP:   90245-0984
  BUSINESS PHONE:  3106153080

  ZIP:   90245-0984



                     Washington, D.C. 20549
                            FORM 8-K
                         CURRENT REPORT
               Pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of
               the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

                 Date of Report: April 14, 1997

                          MERISEL, INC.
     (Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware                           0-17156               95-4172359
(State or other jurisdiction     (Commission File      (I.R.S. Employer
 of incorporation or              Number)               Identification Number)

                    200 Continental Boulevard
                   El Segundo, CA  90245-0984
            (Address of principal executive offices)
                           (Zip code)
                         (310)  615-3080
      (Registrant's telephone number, including area code)



Item 2.  Acquisition or Disposition of Assets

On March 31, 1997, Merisel, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the
("Company") completed the sale of substantially all of the assets
of its wholly-owned subsidiary Merisel FAB, Inc., a Delaware
corporation ("Merisel FAB"),to ComputerLand Corporation
(ComputerLand), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SYNNEX Information
Technologies, Inc., a California corporation  ("Synnex"). Merisel
FAB operates the Company's Franchise and Aggregation
Business ("FAB").  The sale was effective as of March 28, 1997,
pursuant to a Purchase Agreement (the"Purchase Agreement") dated
January 15, 1997, as amended, among the Company, Merisel FAB, 
Computerland and Synnex.

The sale price, computed based upon the February 21,
1997 balance sheet of Merisel FAB was approximately $31,992,000
consisting of ComputerLand assuming $11,992,000 of trade
payables and accrued liabilities and a $20,000,000 extended
payable due to a third party.  As part the sale, the Company
agreed to extend rebates to Synnex on future purchases at a
defined rate per dollar of purchases, not to exceed $2,000,000.
The purchase price is subject to adjustments based upon Merisel
FAB's March 28, 1997 balance sheet.  In the quarter ended
December 31, 1996, the Company recorded an impairment charge of
$2,033,000 to adjust Merisel FAB's Assets to their fair value.

For additional information see the  March 31, 1997 press release 
of Merisel, Inc.,a copy of which is attached hereto as an exhibit.

Item 7.   Financial Statements and Exhibits

(a)  Financial Statements of Business Acquired.
     Not Applicable
(b)  Pro Forma Financial Information

The Following unaudited pro forma financial statements are filed
with this report:
    Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Balance 
     Sheet as of December 31, 1996................................. Page 4
    Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings:
     Year Ended December 31,1996................................... Page 5
     Year Ended December 31,1995................................... Page 6
    Notes to Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated
     Financial Statements....................................... Pages 7-8

     The unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheet
of the Company as of December 31, 1996 reflects the financial
position of  the Company after giving effect to the disposition
of substantially all of FAB as discussed in Item 2 and assumes
the disposition took place on December 31, 1996.  The Pro Forma
Condensed Consolidated Statements of operations for the years
ended December 31, 1995 and December 31, 1996 assume that the
disposition occurred on January 1, 1995 and January 1, 1996, respectively
and are based on the operations of the Company for the years
ended December 31, 1995 and December 31, 1996.
     The unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial
statements presented herein are shown for illustrative purposes
only and are not necessarily indicative of the future financial
position or future results of operations of the Company, or of
the financial position or results of operations of the Company
that would have actually occurred had the transaction occurred as
of the date or for the periods presented.
     The unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial
statements should be read in conjunction with the historical
financial statements and related notes of the Company.

 (c) Exhibits

           2.1 Purchase Agreement dated as of  January 15, 1997
               by and among Merisel, Inc., Merisel FAB., Inc., Syn
               Fab, Inc., and Synnex Information Technologies, Inc.(1)

           2.2 Amendment No. 1 to Asset Purchase Agreement dated
               as of March 6, 1997. (1)

          99.1 Press release of Merisel, Inc. Dated
               March 31, 1997.
- -----------------
     (1)  Incorporated herein by reference to the Annual Report
          on Form 10-K of the Company for the annual period ended
          December 28, 1996.


                      MERISEL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                            (In thousands)
Pro Forma Adjustments Historical 12/31/96 FAB Other Pro Forma Current Assets: Cash & Cash Equivalents $ 44,678 $44,678 Accounts Receivable (net of allowances) 168,295 $6,850(a) 161,445 Inventories 392,557 392,557 Prepaid Expenses 16,925 16,925 Income Taxes Receivable 2,183 2,183 Deferred Income Tax Benefit 482 482 -------- ------- -------- ------- Total current assets 625,120 6,850 618,270 Property and Equipment, Net 61,430 542(a) 60,888 Cost in Excess of Net Assets Acquired 41,724 15,374(b) 26,350 Other Assets 2,765 2,765 -------- -------- -------- ------- Total Assets 731,039 22,766 708,273 -------- -------- -------- ------- -------- -------- -------- ------- Current Liabilities: Accounts Payable $383,548 $25,711(a) $357,837 Accrued Liabilities 37,543 952(a) 4,085(c) 40,676 Short-Term Debt Long-Term Debt-Current 9,084 9,084 Subordinated Debt-Current 4,400 4,400 -------- -------- -------- ------- Total Current Liabilities 434,575 26,663 4,085 411,997 Long-Term Debt 268,079 268,079 Subordinated Debt 13,200 13,200 other Long-term Debt 188 188(a) --------- -------- -------- -------- Total Liabilities 716,042 26,851 4,085 693,276 --------- -------- -------- -------- Total Stockholders' Equity 14,997 (4,085) (4,085) 14,997 Total Liabilities and Stockholders Equity $731,039 $22,766 $708,273 -------- -------- --------- -------- -------- -------- --------- --------
See accompanying notes to unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements. -4- PRO FORMA FINANCIAL INFORMATION MERISEL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1996 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
Pro Forma Adjustments Historical 12/31/96 FAB (a) Other Pro Forma Net Sales $5,522,824 $1,021,310 $4,501,514 Cost of Sales 5,233,570 984,515 4,249,055 ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Gross Profit 289,254 36,795 252,459 Selling, General & Administrative Expenses 295,021 33,689 261,332 Impairment Loss 42,033 42,033 ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Operating Loss (47,800) (38,927) (8,873) Loss on Sale of European, Mexican and Latin American Operations 33,455 33,455 Interest Expense 37,431 255 37,176 Other Expense 20,150 58 20,092 ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Loss Before Income Taxes (138,836) (39,240) (99,596) Income Tax Provision (1,539) (60) (1,479) ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Net Loss $(140,375) $(39,300) $(101,075) ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------- Net Loss Per Share $ (4.68) $ (3.37) ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------- Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding 30,001 30,001 ----------- ---------- ----------- ----------
See accompanying notes to unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements. -6- PRO FORMA FINANCIAL INFORMATION MERISEL, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES UNAUDITED PRO FORMA CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 1995 (In Thousands, Except Per Share Data)
Pro Forma Adjustments Historical 12/31/96 FAB (a) Other ProForma Net Sales $5,956,967 $1,141,094 $ $4,815,873 Cost of Sales 5,633,278 1,097,673 4,535,605 ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Gross Profit 323,689 43,421 280,268 Selling, General & Administrative Expenses 317,195 41,468 2,986(b) 278,713 Impairment Losses 51,383 30,000 21,383 Restructuring Charge 9,333 9,333 ---------- ---------- ----------- ---------- Operating Loss (54,222) (28,047) (2,986) (29,161) Interest Expense 37,583 4,210 33,373 Other Expense 13,885 137 13,748 ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Loss Before Income Taxes (105,690) (32,394) (2,986) (76,282) Income Tax Benefit 21,779 903 20,876 ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------- Net Loss $ (83,911) $ (31,491) $ (2,986) $ (55,406) ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Net Loss Per Share $ (2.82) $ (1.86) ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- Weighted Average Number of Shares Outstanding 29,806 29,806 ----------- ---------- ----------- ----------
See accompanying notes to unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements. -7- Notes to the Unaudited Pro Forma Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements 1. General The foregoing unaudited pro forma condensed consolidated financial statements illustrate the effect of the sale by the Company of substantially all the assets of Merisel FAB, Inc. to ComputerLand Corporation ("ComputerLand"), a wholly owned subsidiary of SYNNEX Information Technologies, Inc. ("Synnex") pursuant to a Purchase Agreement (the "Purchase Agreement") among the Company, Merisel FAB, Inc., ComputerLand, and Synnex. Merisel FAB operates the Company's Franchise and Aggregation Business ("FAB"). The sales price, if computed at December, 31 1996, would have been $26,850,000 consisting of $6,850,000 of trade payable and accrued liabilites and a $20,000,000 extended payable due to Vanstar Corporation. As part of the sale, the Company agreed to extend rebates to Synnex on future purchases at a defined rate per dollar of purchases, not to exceed $2,000,000. The sales price is subject to adjustments based upon the March 28, 1997 balance sheet. Because the Company recorded an impairment charge of $2,033,000 in the quarter ended December 31, 1996 to adjust Merisel FAB's assets to their fair value, the recognition of this sale as of December 31, 1996 would not result in a loss as follows: Purchase price 26,850,000 Book value of FAB Assets purchased (7,392,000) Value of rebates to be paid to buyer (2,000,000) Intangible assets associated with FAB to be written off (15,374,000) Estimated direct and other costs associated with the transaction (2,084,000) ------------ Loss on Sale of FAB 0 ------------ ------------ 2. Pro Forma Balance Sheet Adjustments a)FAB - Represents the historical unaudited December 31, 1996 balances for Merisel FAB for those assets transferred to, and liabilities assumed by ComputerLand. b) Cost in excess of net asset acquired - Amounts relate to Merisel FAB which will be written off as a result of the sale. c) Accrued Liabilities - Represents adjustments to accrue $2,000,000 of rebates extended to Synnex as part of the purchase agreement, and $2,085,000 of direct costs associated with the sale of FAB. 3. Pro Forma Income Statement Adjustments for the Year Ended December 31, 1996 a)FAB - Represents the historical unaudited December 31, 1996 balances for Merisel FAB which are eliminated to reflect the sale of Merisel FAB. 4. Pro Forma Income Statement Adjustments for the Year Ended December 31, 1995 a)FAB - Represents the historical unaudited December 31, 1995 balances for Merisel FAB which are eliminated to reflect the sale of Merisel FAB. b)Selling, General and Administrative Expenses. In 1995 certain corporate costs were allocated by Merisel to Merisel FAB (corporate overhead, administrative expenses, etc.). It is likely that such costs would not have been eliminated due to the sale of FAB, and are therefore added back for the purposes of this pro forma presentation. -7- SIGNATURES Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, the Registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, hereto duly authorized. MERISEL, INC. Date: April 14, 1997 /S/ JAMES E. ILLSON ---------------------------- James E. Illson, Senior Vice President Finance, and Chief Financial Officer (Duly authorized officer and principal financial officer)
EX-99 2 For Immediate Release Financial Media/Investor Relations: Rivian Bell (310) 615-6812 (310) 615-6868 (800) 686-1910 (24-hour pager) Richard Bernhardt Sr. Manager, Marketing Communications ComputerLand Corporation (510) 467-6097 Merisel Completes Sale of FAB Subsidiary El Segundo, Calif. (March 31, 1997) -- Merisel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSEL) announced today that, as of March 28, 1997, the company has completed the sale of substantially all of the assets of its wholly owned subsidiary, Merisel FAB, Inc., to ComputerLand Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Synnex Information Technologies, Inc., a Fremont, Calif.-based distributor of microcomputers and communication, networking, peripheral, and storage products. Merisel FAB, Inc. operated the company's ComputerLand Franchise and Datago businesses. Terms of the sale called for the buyer to acquire substantially all of the assets and assume substantially all of the liabilities of Merisel FAB, Inc. The liabilities assumed by the buyer include an extended payable of $20,000,000 due to Vanstar Corporation. In the quarter ended Dec. 31, 1996, Merisel, Inc. recorded an impairment charge of $2,033,000 to adjust Merisel FAB's assets to fair market value. Merisel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MSEL) is a leader in the distribution of computer hardware, software and networking products. Merisel distributes a full line of 25,000 products to more than 45,000 resellers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Additional information can be obtained through the company's World Wide Web site ( or by requesting information by fax at (310) 615-6811. # # #

Lobbying Dollars: The Murder of Federal Lobbyist of Ashley Turton

Washington  DC

Just off the capital mall a later model BMW SUV exploded killing the occupant just the school bus full of students were killed in Orland CA in April 2014.  A little known accident beyond Alamo CA, was that of Mike Sevenau who like all the others burned alive.

In 2010, Eiko Sugihar was burned alive in Lafayette CA.  One thing about Ashley Turton is she was working for Duke

From Ashley W. Turton, 37, an energy company lobbyist and former chief of staff to Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.), was found dead shortly before 5 a.m. in the SUV. The front end of the vehicle was charred and facing into the burning garage. The back end, less damaged than the front, was protruding slightly from the garage.

In 2004 not far from where Mike perished my F-250 burst into a ball of fire. There is one key difference between these victims and my story.  Even though I had fire engines and police on scene there is no police report.

On Sept 23rd, 2014 at the Contra Costa Board Of Supervisors the room was filled with all the heads of all the county departments presenting their feel good reports.  You know look at us, we're justifying our budget, and we're here to help the homeless.  On the 29th, my relatives were dead in Springville UT. 

The wort

When I lived in Danville there was a fatal fire on my street but two houses burned to the ground on Plaza Circle, around the corner from where Melody Lister died whose brother in-law knew Garrido.

Down the street my sons used to play with Ryan Fuchs, he's dead but David Bremer was beat to death in the county jail cell but it was baloney that killed him.

I'm posting what I know about David Bremer Murder because the first responder was Deputy Carlos Francia who was not at the Coroners Inquest but I was, it was a charade of perjury under oath. 


Microsoft Lobbying and the Dead Police Officer

The Murders of Police Officers For Visas 

Matt Gelman and Fred Humphries, Microsoft. These two plugged-in Democratic lobbyists spearhead the tech giant’s formidable D.C. operation.

BILL GATES, Chairman, Microsoft: Now we face a critical shortage of scientific talent. And there’s only one way to solve that crisis today: open our doors to highly talented scientists and engineers who want to live, work and pay taxes here.
Please read: The Pete Bennett Interview Reality Test -


The Pete Bennett Interview Reality Test

The Pete Bennett Interview Reality Test 

All recruiters start off with a few basic questions but my answers are very different, hard to overcome and explain my situation. 

All good recruiters ask:

  1. Can I have a copy of your most recent resume and most recent positions
  2. Where do you live? See Pete's Current Residence
  3. Please provide three personal references 
  4. Please provide at least three job references
I cannot answer any of them with credibility
  1. My last client was threatened, sorry they won't talk with you
  2. One of my last clients was PG&E, they've been indicted for Obstruction of Justice
  3. Another client is Albert D. Seeno


In May 2013, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway hired Meyers Nave

California Powerhouse: Meyers Nave

By Jeff Sistrunk
Law360, New York (July 24, 2014, 2:55 PM ET) -- In less than three decades, Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson has grown from a small municipal law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area into one of the leading firms for local governments and public agencies throughout the state as well as private clients focused on complex, public-facing transportation and development projects.

From winning landmark pension reform litigation for some of the state's largest local governments to marshaling the city of San Bruno through the aftermath of a devastating pipeline explosion to representing the city of Sacramento in its ongoing efforts to build a new home for the Kings NBA franchise, Meyers Nave has flexed its muscle in the areas of environmental, labor and employment, land use, eminent domain and constitutional law.

Meyers Nave's ability to get large projects completed, secure major litigation wins and resolve crises landed the six-office firm a spot among Law360's California Powerhouses.

"One of the things that sets us apart is the complex, high-profile, bet-the-farm litigation matters that public and private entities come to Meyers Nave to handle," said David Skinner, Meyers Nave's managing partner, adding that the firm also is "on the cutting edge of handling the largest infrastructure projects in the state."

Meyers Nave was founded in San Leandro in 1986 by Steve Meyers, Michael Nave, Libby Silver and Mike Riback, who came from small or solo practices and from public agencies.

"The idea of the founding partners at the time was to start a firm that was going to be practicing public law — those areas of law that pertain to the operations of government," Meyers said. "We all had some expertise in that area and thought we could provide those services to clients through a law firm that was exclusively dedicated to that kind of work."

Some of the firm's early work included serving as city attorney for municipalities in the Bay Area and beyond, including San Leandro, Dublin, Novato and Cloverdale.

Meyers Nave relocated its San Leandro office to Oakland in 2003, a move that coincided with the firm's expansion into new practice areas and regions. Today, Meyers Nave boasts a bench of 75 attorneys practicing in 18 distinct areas of law, with 50 lawyers located in the firm's Oakland headquarters and the others spread among offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and Santa Rosa.

Amrit Kulkarni, chair of Meyers Nave's land use practice group, noted that the firm's expansion in the 2000s was driven by greater demand by clients for multidisciplinary legal services in connection with some of the largest and most complex transportation and development projects around the state.

Although Meyers Nave has broadened its reach, it has remained firmly in touch with its roots in public agency service, currently serving as city attorney for more than 20 California municipalities and as special counsel for many more.

The firm has taken the lead in helping local governments in California address issues relating to public employee pensions and retiree health care coverage.

"We've helped a number of agencies that have faced crises in which you had long-term labor contracts and very significant post-employment benefit obligations, and the agency sought to restructure those," said Art Hartinger, chair of Meyers Nave's labor and employment practice group. "We've helped to fashion long-term plans for fiscal sustainability and helped put those plans in place."

After a decade of budget shortfalls, the city of San Jose enlisted Meyers Nave to analyze its authority to tweak its retirement system via ordinances or charter amendments. The firm's analysis led the City Council to propose a ballot measure, known as Measure B, to create "second-tier" benefits for new city employees and increase contributions by current employees to their retiree benefit plans. The initiative passed with 70 percent of voters in favor.

But the city's plan was targeted in a slew of lawsuits by unions and retirees, which were consolidated and tried. Meyers Nave prevailed on a significant number of the issues, with a state court in 2014 validating 12 of the measure's 15 provisions. The case is now before an appeals court.

"A lot of eyes are on that case in terms of potentially making new or different law in the areas of pension reform," Hartinger said.

In another prominent case, the Ninth Circuit in February held that thousands of retired employees of Meyers Nave client Orange County don't have an implied contractual right to pool their health insurance premiums with those of current employees, affirming a lower court’s ruling in favor of the county.

Orange County had developed a multipart program to address an unfunded liability for retiree health insurance that was initially estimated at $1.4 billion, prompting the 6,000-member Retired Employees Association of Orange County to sue in an effort to force the county to reinstate a practice that had subsidized retiree health insurance premiums for many years.

Meyers Nave's expertise in representing public agencies also extends to the realm of crisis management. The city of San Bruno retained the firm immediately after a deadly pipeline explosion in September 2010 that killed eight people, injured several dozen more and destroyed 38 homes.

"Public agencies often find themselves dealing with areas of law that one might not easily predict, and this is one example," Meyers said. "I doubt that the city of San Bruno thought that they would be spending up to four years before state and federal pipeline regulatory agencies, and yet that's exactly what's happened."

Initially, Meyers Nave's job was to guide the city through the National Transportation Safety Board and federal regulatory processes, and that led to negotiations with the pipeline's operator, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The firm secured a two-part settlement with PG&E — $70 million to compensate San Bruno for the disaster and $50 million to help the city defray the costs of rebuilding and dealing with the aftereffects of the blast.

In public investigatory hearings before the NTSB and the California Public Utilities Commission, Meyers Nave developed and presented much of the evidence that would later form the backbone of federal prosecutors' April 2014 criminal complaint against PG&E. The firm also prepared and filed San Bruno's request that the CPUC impose $2.25 billion worth of fines and penalties against PG&E for alleged safety violations leading up to the explosion.

"We still don't have some of the decisions out of the Public Utilities Commission on the prosecutorial matters that we've been participating in, but we have confidence that the results will be the largest fine of an investor-owned public utility in California's history," Meyers said.

While the San Bruno matter "has taken a great deal of our time and effort," it has resulted in "some pretty significant achievements working to the direct benefit of the city, but also helping California deal with aging infrastructure and pipeline safety," Meyers said.

"Ultimately, this will affect all cities in California that have gas distribution systems," he said.

Meyers Nave's work with San Bruno has led to other assignments from California cities and counties dealing with similar subjects and utility issues.

"The specifics of this case are probably not as important as the overall consequences of the assignment, in terms of building a practice area and building a firm that can deal with hot issues that require a multidisciplinary approach," Meyers said. "I think our experience with San Bruno has greatly benefited the firm and given us a whole new practice area within which to expand our operations statewide."

Meyers Nave's representation of both public and private entities in their development of large-scale projects around the state requires extensive coordination among attorneys across practice areas, as the projects involve land use, eminent domain, environmental, labor and employment, construction and other issues, Kulkarni said.

"We are very fortunate that we have a broad depth of expertise in these areas spread throughout our offices," Kulkarni said. "Our experts are available to our clients anytime, anyplace, regardless of where they're located."

In Southern California, Meyers Nave was retained by Los Angeles International Airport to advise on environmental compliance for its $3.2 billion master plan and runway expansion. That work led to the firm's retention by the Port of Los Angeles as outside counsel on transactional and litigation matters related to the port’s plans to expand the capacity, increase the efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of its container terminals.

In May 2013, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway hired Meyers Nave to represent it in connection with the development of a $500 million high-tech intermodal facility that would allow goods from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to be transferred onto trains closer to the ports. The firm is defending BNSF in seven now-consolidated suits challenging the adequacy of the eight-year environmental review prepared for the project, in what Kulkarni said is one of the biggest California Environmental Quality Act suits currently pending in the state.

Further up the coast, Meyers Nave has been retained by the city of Sacramento to help implement its plan for revitalizing the city's downtown area, which includes a highly contentious proposal for a $477 million basketball arena for the Kings NBA franchise. In March, the firm secured a ruling granting the city possession of the vacant Macy's store presently sitting where the planned arena will be built.

"Our land use and eminent domain lawyers are working hand in hand with the city to ensure that the facility will be built on the schedule that is part of the deal to keep the Sacramento Kings in town, rather than moving to Seattle," Kulkarni said.

Meyers Nave is representing Sacramento in several suits stemming from the arena project, including environmental challenges. The project is so significant that the California State Legislature passed special legislation governing the litigation of the CEQA suits.

"We take great pride in being part of a team with our clients and we like to get results," Kulkarni said. "When lawsuits are filed, as is often the case with major projects, we litigate aggressively to ensure that our clients' plans and visions become a reality. Ultimately, the firm's greatest reward is seeing these projects built and contribute to the vitality of the state."

--Editing by Jeremy Barker and Katherine Rautenberg.

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