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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Saltzman's $790K year? That was nothing.

About a month ago, the guys at Willamette Week raised our eyebrows with their report that Portland city commissioner Dan Saltzman had raked in a cool $790,000 of cash flow from his and his family's real estate investments in 2009. We went ahead and got copies of his financial disclosure forms from the state government ethics folks, and blogged about them here.

Intrigued by these findings, we asked the state for additional years' disclosure statements from the City Council, including Saltzman, and we have now gotten some of these. It turns out that 2009 was a slow year for "Legend" Dan compared to 2006, when he was on the receiving end of more than $1 million of distributions from real estate entities, including a $994,474 distribution from an entity known as Bridgeport Commons LLC. Saltzman had a 20% interest in Bridgeport Commons at the time, which means that if it made pro rata distributions to all its members, the LLC disgorged $4.97 million in cash to its owners in 2006. Burp!

2007 was not as big a payday for the commish. His report for that year shows distributions from four real estate LLCs, totaling a mere $285,517. We didn't get his data from 2008, which would have been reported in April 2009, in part because of a misunderstanding about which years we were requesting. But we'll keep after that one.

Meanwhile, we were also interested in the disclosure reports filed by former commissioner Erik Sten, who mysteriously quit the City Council in early 2008 and left town thereafter. Sten didn't file a disclosure statement after he resigned, and so the last disclosure report we have on him is for the year 2006. His dad, an attorney who worked in the state Justice Department, had died the summer before, and a rumor was that the younger Sten quit politics rather than disclose the extent of his inherited wealth.

It's hard to get that out of his financial report for 2006. It showed that Sten's city salary provided half or more of his and his wife's income, and that her job with Neighborhood Partnership Fund provided between 10% and 49%. That leaves 40% at most as coming from investments. The report shows that Sten owned three homes in Portland: his personal residence on NE Brazee in Irvington, a condo at 1221 NE 21st, and a third home, which was sold in 2006, on NE 63rd just south of the Banfield Freeway. Sten went on to buy a much fancier, $1.28 million West Hills home in March 2007, but he lived in it for only a short time before selling it in July 2008 and moving to Bend. The 21st Avenue condo, in Sullivan's Gulch, was sold in May 2007; Sten and his wife are still listed as owning the house on NE Brazee.

Comments (6)

Dont forget that even though Sten told reporters that he used proceeds from the sale of the rentals to buy the West Hills house the public records showed that the took out a $1 million first mortgage. A mortgage that would require around $500,000 annually in income to qualify for. There is the possibility that he did not have the income and he misrepresented his income on a "stated income" loan, a federal offense. If he did have the income, where did it come from and why didn't he come clean with the reporters that asked about it?

Remind me in the next life to pick richer grandparents like Saltzman did.

I'd still be curious if any of his rule-making affected Oregon Pacific's return on their properties.

With Sten, I think he just got a wad from an inheritance and the houses not withstanding can probably live for a good while on that money.

Be thankful he got enough to get out of Portland politics.

One more thing - Bridgeport Commons LLC is run by the same people that run Oregon Pacific, so its probably the same properties.

Dear Commisar Dan , don't know if you heard , but our fellow citizens are living in their cars and can't feed their kids , Maybe cough up some of that largess and feed someone. Don't want to be seen as out-of-touch
like that rich senator from New York , Wyden.

Love!!! the illustration!

If only Dan had followed the law and declared his earnings on April 15, I would have brought it up in the campaign.

It's curious, he gives his girlfriend's charity $600K and doesn't declare conflict of interest because he's shy.

He makes hundreds of thousands on land development deals and what else didn't he declare or recuse himself from the vote.

sitting pretty Dan...you'll make a great Chicago Mayor.

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