Chronology of Major Events Involving Symington Case
Major events in political, business career of Gov. Fife Symington:
September 1983: The board of Southwest Savings approves an investment of at least $25.9 million in a joint venture with Symington to develop the Camelback Esplanade, an office and retail project.
January 1984: Symington resigns from the Southwest board.
April 1989: Symington announces for governor.
September 1989: Southwest Savings is taken over by the Resolution Trust Corp., created to clean up the national savings and loan collapse.
November 1990: Symington edges Democrat Terry Goddard in the general election but fails to win the 50 percent of the vote.
February 1991: Symington defeats Democrat Goddard in unprecedented runoff election. Also in February, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, holds hearings into allegations that the RTC has botched the investigation of Southwest. First allegations surface that Symington may have violated banking laws.
April 1991: Symington unveils Project SLIM, State Long-Term Improved Management, to cut government.
September 1991: The Washington Post reports that three RTC attorneys have recommended in an internal memo that the government sue Symington for ``blatant self-dealing.″
September 1991: Accounting companies submit bids for Project SLIM. Coopers & Lybrand awarded contract.
December 1991: RTC files a $197 million lawsuit against Symington and 11 other former Southwest directors and officers, alleging they failed to seek appropriate regulatory approval for the Esplanade deal. The amount later is raised to $210.4 million.
January 1992: Symington aide George Leckie put in charge of Project SLIM.
May 1993: The Mercado, a retail and office project developed by Symington, is sold at auction. The pension funds that financed it buy it back for $3 million. Symington is left $7 million in the red.
October 1993: The Esplanade goes up for sale. Symington’s interest in the project has dwindled to near nothing.
March 1994: Reports surface of improper contact between Coopers & Lybrand, Leckie and Coopers partner John Yeoman regarding awarding of Project SLIM contract.
May 1994: RTC suit is settled for at least $12.1 million. Symington does not admit wrongdoing. Settlement is paid by the estate of Daniel K. Ludwig, the Southwest’s owner.
November 1994: Symington is re-elected.
January 1995: Former secretary at Coopers & Lybrand tells Attorney General’s investigators that Coopers had inside information on Project SLIM bids.
July 1995: Coopers agrees to pay $725,000 to settle state claims of impropriety regarding Project SLIM contract.
July 1995: Leckie agrees to pay $25,000 settlement following Attorney General’s investigation.
July 1995: A court judgment orders Symington to pay more than $11 million to the consortium of union pension funds that financed the Mercado.
Sept. 20, 1995: Symington files for bankruptcy, citing debts of more than $24 million and assets of $61,000.
March 1996: Federal grand jury indicts Leckie on seven criminal counts of fraud and Yeoman on nine criminal counts, including fraud and perjury, in bid-rigging fraud related to Project SLIM.
April 3, 1996: Yeoman and Leckie plead innocent to indictment charges.
April 5, 1996: Yeoman killed in traffic accident in Phoenix.
May 13-14, 1996: Symington deposed about financial statements and 1995 bankruptcy filing. Admits making errors and omissions in statements but denies any attempt to defraud lenders.
June 13, 1996: Symington is indicted by a federal grand jury on 23 counts including fraud and attempted extortion.