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Council members' 'Form 700' documents reviewed

Public officials are required to file forms detailing income, business dealings, investments, gifts and more.

August 13, 2011

Newport Beach Mayor Mike Henn disclosed the basics of his financial connections to Lido Village in the state Fair Political Practices Commission's annual statement of economic interests: the "Form 700" document, which public officials are required to file.

The Daily Pilot also reviewed the other Newport Beach council members' 2010 forms and contacted each official for comment. Their statements cover income, business dealings in Newport Beach, their spouses' dealings inside city limits, financial investments, loans and gifts.

Keith Curry reported the largest gifts on the council during 2010, a year he served as mayor, which is a largely ceremonial role that rotates among council members. Curry received passes from local and international organizations, including the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce ($270) for the Taste of Newport, from the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach hotel ($150) for its summertime jazz festival, and from the Daily Pilot's parent company, Times Community News, which gave him $50 in tickets to the Toshiba Classic golf tournament.

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In total, Curry garnered about $3,300 worth of gifts, all within legal limits. It was less than the $5,400 he reported in 2009. The largest single item in 2010 was $1,114 paid by Antibes, France — Newport's sister city — for a summer trip.

Leslie Daigle disclosed that she consults for Verizon Wireless and other telecommunication firms that occasionally have business before the City Council. In 2006, two years after she was appointed to the council, she voted to approve a Sprint PCS facility. Daigle said that she had no economic relationship with Sprint at the time, and has since decided to recuse herself from all discussions or votes on antennas, cell towers or other wireless infrastructure applications.

Nancy Gardner owned stock in nine companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., whose subsidiary owns some of Banning Ranch in West Newport. The ranch is a roughly 400-acre property that may be developed. Gardner said she was not aware of her Exxon stock, as she lets her family's stockbroker make all investment decisions. She said she was not aware that the company owned part of Banning Ranch, despite conservationists and groups that have invoked Exxon's name as an environmentalist rallying cry. Gardner has been active in environmental causes, and followed Banning Ranch closely.

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