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November 22, 2004

OREGONIAN: Resident professor Ted McAniff to review state investment council policies

Veteran lawyer reviews state investment council’s conflict-of-interest policies  

Monday, November 22, 2004
Edward “Ted” McAniff, a visiting professor at University of Oregon School of Law, and a law partner with deep experience in banking and securities law, has agreed to evaluate the Oregon Investment Council’s conflict-of-interest policies.

 McAniff, semiretired from the O’Melveny & Myers law firm in Los Angeles, began his review earlier this month, after signing a contract with the Oregon Treasury, the agency that oversees the investment council. He is expected to complete the evaluation by June 30.

Treasury announced on Aug. 20 that it planned to hire an outside expert to conduct what is called a “best practices” review of the council, which manages a $56 billion portfolio of public funds, including the $45 billion pension fund.

The review was prompted by controversies that erupted after council vice chairwoman Diana Goldschmidt voted along with fellow council members to allow a $300 million investment in a private equity fund managed by Texas Pacific Group. Less than a day after the vote on Oct. 29, 2003, Texas Pacific asked Neil Goldschmidt, Diana Goldschmidt’s husband and former Oregon governor, to participate in a potentially lucrative partnership that would own Portland General Electric, Oregon’s largest utility.
A firestorm of questions about whether Diana Goldschmidt or other council members knew about Neil Goldschmidt’s association with Texas Pacific before the vote prompted an investigation by the Oregon attorney general and a decision by Gov. Ted Kulongoski to remove Diana Goldschmidt from the council.

 Neil Goldschmidt withdrew from any involvement with Texas Pacific in May after admitting to sexually abusing a 14-year-old in the 1970s when he was mayor of Portland.

 Attorney General Hardy Myers began the investigation on Sept. 29. He has declined to discuss details while the inquiry is ongoing.

 “The department is making every effort to complete the investigation by January,” said Kevin Neely, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Justice.

 “Obviously the investigation is a very comprehensive review of the role of the Oregon Investment Council and the vote which allowed them to invest in Texas Pacific,” Neely said. “At this point, we can’t guarantee it will be finished before the new year.”

 Several individuals associated with the council, Texas Pacific and the pending acquisition of PGE have been interviewed by investigators with the attorney general’s office. They declined to discuss details.

 McAniff’s best practices review is unrelated to the investigation, although it, too, was prompted by the public outcry over the council’s decision-making.

 McAniff will evaluate the policies, rules and practices used by the Treasury staff and the investment council to determine whether a conflict or potential conflict exists, according to the Treasury contract. A report, due June 30, will describe any shortcomings that McAniff might find and may include recommendations for changes in policy or statute.

 “This will help provide assurances that the policies in place are good and sound,” said Kate Richardson, Treasury’s chief of staff.

 The contract sets compensation at $1 and caps expenses at $20,000.

 McAniff declined repeated requests for an interview. Richardson said the rock-bottom fee was McAniff’s idea.

 “It really was a sense of civic duty,” Richardson said.

 McAniff, 70, grew up in Manhattan. He came to Oregon to clerk for then-Oregon Supreme Court Justice Alfred Goodwin in 1961 after graduating from New York University of Law.

 He was a partner in O’Melveny & Myers from 1970 to 1999, and he continues to do some legal work for the firm.

 Each spring since 1998 he has taught at UO’s law school. Classes include financial transactions, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He has a vacation home in Central Oregon.

 Texas Pacific’s purchase proposal is under review by the Oregon Public Utility Commission, which must approve the transaction before it can become final.

 Gail Kinsey Hill: 503-221-8590, gailhill@news.oregonian.com


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