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Reid violates ethics rules, amends reports

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July 24, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed 42 pages worth of amended financial disclosure reports Thursday for the years 2000 through 2006 to more fully account for a land deal in Las Vegas and to more accurately reflect the value of some other properties he owns.

Reid, D-Nev., had disclosed ownership of the Las Vegas property in his original disclosure reports, but he did not report that the title of the property had actually been transferred to a limited liability corporation called Patrick Lane LLC, which Reid had an ownership stake in. Reid valued the transaction in his amended 2001 report at between $250,001 and $500,000.

The sale was engineered by Jay Brown, a longtime friend and former casino lawyer, The Associated Press reported in 2006. The report led Reid to direct his staff to file amended disclosure forms. That effort was completed Thursday to clarify that Reid didn’t personally own the property but that he was part of a limited liability corporation that did own it.

The limited liability corporation sold the property in 2004 in a transaction valued at between $1 million and $5 million.

Aides said Reid made a profit that was in line with what other landowners in the area made and the senator had reported his ownership and the profit in his previous disclosure forms. The only thing added in the amended reports was that the land was owned through the Patrick Lane LLC.

Ethics experts told AP in 2006 that Reid’s inaccurate accounting of the deal to Congress appeared to violate Senate ethics rules and raised other issues concerning taxes and potential gifts.

The amended report for 2004 also includes the sale of a small parcel of land not previously reported. That parcel was valued at between $1,000 and $15,000.

Reid also reported for the first time ownership of a quarter-acre of land. When he bought it, it was valued at less than $1,000, so it did not need to be reported, aides said. The reports were amended to note a projected value of between $1,000 and $15,000. The valuation of some other properties were lowered to reflect current land values; namely, 160 acres in Bullhead City, Ariz., which was lowered to between $250,001 and $500,000.

One Response to Reid violates ethics rules, amends reports

  1. almandine

    July 25, 2009 at 2:42 pm

    This is news?