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Mayor Susan Golding has filed a personal financial disclosure statement showing she has invested well in the pharmaceutical business. The mayor, who's seeking the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer, is required by Senate rules to divulge ballpark figures on her investments, but only within broad ranges. The filing shows that as of this August, Golding owned stock worth between $1000 and $15,000 in each of the following: Exxon, Lilly Industries, Merck and Co., Bristol Myers Squibb, Wrigley, and Puget Sound Energy. The mayor, who is said to appreciate good pastry, also owned between $1000 and $15,000 in cake-maker Sara Lee Corp. She reported her stake in the city retirement fund was worth between $15,000 and $50,000. Golding said a separate individual retirement account at Paine Webber was worth between $1000 and $15,000, and a Merrill Lynch "Nuveen Invt Quality" mutual fund was also valued in the same range. Golding apparently unloaded one possibly controversial holding earlier this year. Centocor, a Pennsylvania-based drug developer with close ties to some big San Diego biotech companies, is listed as providing the mayor with between $2500 and $5000 of dividend income, although no asset value is given. That probably means, according to a Senate source, that the stock was sold before the disclosure became due. City records show Golding has owned the shares since November 1991. The source couldn't explain why Golding reported she had received dividend income ranging between $5000 to $15,000 from both Wrigley and Bristol Myers on stock with a maximum value of $15,000 in each of the companies. Golding also reported getting between $2500 and $5000 each in dividends from similarly sized holdings in Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Exxon. The mayor's office did not return calls seeking comment.

Lawyer talk

Securities litigator William Lerach, a loyal and big-giving Clintonite, has lost one of his top partners to the other side. Susan Gonick has departed Lerach's San Diego law firm, Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach, which often sues corporations on behalf of shareholders, and joined up with Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, which defends corporations in such cases. Gonick, 52, did not go quietly. "I philosophically differ with some of the directions that the Milberg Weiss partnership is going," she told the Recorder, a legal newspaper. "I believe the pendulum in securities class actions has swung too far in the direction of shareholder rights." Gonick had worked with Lerach for about seven years ... Meanwhile, the Recorder reports, the battle between John Mabee and state Insurance Commissioner Charles Quackenbush over control of Mabee's Golden Eagle Insurance Co. is turning into a gold mine for some lucky lawyers. Quackenbush's outside counsel are seeking more than $5 million, while attorneys for the insurance company are requesting about $3 million. Mabee's legal team was led by Skadden, Arps. Top legal gun for Quackenbush was the firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The money for both will come straight out of Golden Eagle, which Quackenbush, alleging financial irregularities, wrested away from Mabee. A judge must sign off on the final amounts.

Tidbits

With the San Diego City Council mulling whether to add treated sewage to the city's drinking water, the Pala Band of Mission Indians may have come up with a way to profit. According to the Indian Wells Water Company of Sausalito, the tribe has agreed to construction of a water-bottling plant on its reservation near Mt. Palomar, "considered one of Southern California's finest natural spring water sources," says a company press release ... While the San Diego City Council continues its legal battle against Dick Rider's effort to get a public vote on the taxpayer-backed convention center expansion bonds, closely held city documents show that the city is hedging its bets. According to a contract worth $25,000 between the city and an East Coast consultant signed late last month, the council is now secretly seeking "alternative financing structures and mechanisms" as well as "a detailed analysis...on the mechanics and risks of alternative financing structures."

Contributor: Matt Potter

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