Big Gains in Financial Assets
May Have Failed to Report Major
Investments in Last Annual Report
by Ken Martin
© The Austin Bulldog 2011
The most significant changes reflected in the latest mid-year Statements of Financial Information submitted by Austin City Council members appeared in the statement submitted by Council Member Mike Martinez. He listed the names of 49 entities in which he and his wife, Lara Wendler, held, owned, acquired, or sold stock, or any other equity ownership having a value of $5,000 or more.
These holdings appear to represent an investment of at least $245,000, if each of the 49 stocks were valued at the minimum $5,000. These stocks cover a wide range of investment funds. None involve local companies.
Martinez did not report these investments in his last annual report.
Seeking clarification, The Austin Bulldog e-mailed Martinez August 8 to ask if he owned these stocks during 2010—and failed to report them in his last annual report—or acquired them since January 1.
Martinez replied August 10: “After consulting with counsel, my wife and I have expanded the mid-year PFS (personal financial statement) to provide more information. The mid-year PFS accurately reflects our current situation.”
Martinez did not respond to a follow-up query to again ask if he had owned those investments last year and failed to report them.
Martinez currently has a new home under construction at 2314 E. 11th St., in Central East Austin near Boggy Creek Park. The 11,641-square-foot lot was purchased October 29, according to the Warranty Deed, and the building permit was issued May 31. The three-story, single-family residence being built by Olson Defendorf Custom Homes has 5,289 square feet, with 4.5 bathrooms and two garages, according to building permits downloaded from the city’s website.
Martinez’ financial statement indicates that he paid off three loans and took out three new loans. He also joined the board of directors of three organizations that benefit youth and social justice: Police Activity League, Community Shares of Texas, and Christopher Guild.
Other financial changes