San Diego Staffers at the county's pension system aren't the only ones consorting with those in the investment business. Back on May 28, 2004, records show, county treasurer Dan McAllister, then chairman of the retirement board, collected a total of $7000 from a group of financial types from Los Angeles and New York. First among them was Daniel Weinstein, managing director of L.A.'s Wetherly Capital. He and another managing director, Vicky Schiff of Bel-Air, each gave $1000. Vice president Peter L. Borges and Julio Ramirez Jr. of La Cañada Flintridge, listed as the firm's "legislative rep," each kicked in $500. Stanley Gold of Burbank's Shamrock Holdings, a large investment outfit that handles the finances of Roy Disney, Walt's wealthy nephew, gave $1000, as did Robert MacDonald, president of L.A.-based Paladin Private Equity Partners, founded by the late secretary of the treasury Bill Simon. Lauren Leichtman of Beverly Hills, managing partner of Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, also contributed $1000. On the same day, New York's Robert N. Kaplan, an attorney with Kaplan, Fox and Kilsheimer LLP, also gave $1000.
Weinstein is a onetime regional political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers union who later became an investment advisor to billionaire Ron Burkle and then formed Wetherly to recruit pension fund money to finance Burkle's supermarket-takeover deals. He became the subject of controversy in June 2001 when then L.A. mayoral candidate Anthony Villaraigosa claimed that Weinstein had illegally coordinated a $100,000 campaign expenditure from a Riverside County Indian tribe on behalf of Villaraigosa's opponent, Jim Hahn. Asked about the contributions, McAllister said Schiff was a "friend" whom he'd met earlier and who had volunteered to raise money to help pay down his campaign debt, some of which is secured by a mortgage on his residence. He added that, to his knowledge, none of the contributors have business involving the pension fund. Retirement fund chief Brian White didn't respond to phone calls.