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LOS ANGELES : Group Asks State to Probe Possible Riordan Conflict

The political watchdog group Common Cause asked for a state investigation into whether Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan violated conflict-of-interest laws by taking an action affecting a company in which he was an investor.

The request to the Fair Political Practices Commission was similar to one made earlier by state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) following a Times article in June.

Meanwhile, an aide to Riordan said that on Tuesday the mayor sold 350,000 shares of stock in the company, Tetra Tech Inc., leaving him with about a 2% stake in the firm.

Riordan, who serves as a board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, has said that he had no idea in August of last year that his championing of $97 million in funding for a Downtown Los Angeles-to-Pasadena rail project would activate a $1.05-million contract held by Tetra Tech.

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Riordan at the time owned $9.75 million in stock in the Pasadena engineering services company, his largest holding. The mayor also has said that he sought funding for the rail line only to resolve a dispute among MTA board members.


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