Forms show Bartlett, Cardin are millionaires Md. delegation's annual disclosure data released

June 12, 1993|By John B. O'Donnell | John B. O'Donnell,Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin benefits from two trusts that received at least $1.5 million last year from the sale of stock in B. Green & Co., a Baltimore wholesale grocery firm that subsequently sold a major portion of its business, eliminating several hundred jobs in Baltimore.

The stock transaction was revealed yesterday as the annual financial disclosure statements for members of Congress were released. The statements indicate that Mr. Cardin, a liberal Baltimore Democrat, and freshman Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, the conservative Western Maryland Republican, are millionaires, although it is impossible to tell who is richer.

Mr. Bartlett listed among his assets 18.9 acres and an apartment building that is valued at more than $1 million and produces income ofbetween $15,000 and $50,000 a year, along with 85.3 acres "with buildings" also valued at more than $1 million and producing income of $15,000 to $50,000. Both properties are in Frederick County. He also listed other real estate holdings that -- have a value of at least $300,000.

Each member of Congress is required to file an annual statement that lists earned income, income-producing assets and liabilities, gifts and trips that they received. The reports for Maryland's two senators and eight House members were released yesterday, along with those of other members of Congress.

It is impossible to calculate the precise net worth of a member of Congress with information supplied in the reports. Some assets, such as non-income-producing valuables -- art, for example -- need not be disclosed. Moreover, the value of assets and the income they disclose are listed in broad categories. One category for the valuation of assets is $500,000 to $1 million. The next category is "over $1 million."

B. Green, the wholesale grocery firm, was founded by Mr. Cardin's grandfather, Benjamin L Green, in 1915. In December, Forbes magazine listed it as one of the nation's 400 largest privately held companies, with $525 million in revenues and 1,000 employees.

Mr. Cardin said that his family got out of the company because "we wanted to move in a different direction." He said his trusts' stock was sold back to the firm and was not involved in the subsequent sale of the firm's wholesale division to Richfood Holdings Inc., of Richmond, Va.

Mr. Cardin's financial statement said that the sale of his trusts' stock occurred on Dec. 31. The sale of the B. Green wholesale division was announced less on Jan. 22.

When it made the acquisition, Richfood said that it would move the wholesale division to Richmond and that 300 to 400 Baltimore-area workers would lose their jobs.

Mr. Cardin said he disagreed with the decision to sell the wholesale division because "it was doing well."

One of Mr. Cardin's trusts received a promissory note for between $500,000 and $1 million for its stock in B. Green. In his report a year ago, Mr. Cardin valued that trust's B. Green stock in the $100,000-to-$250,000 range.

The other trust received more than $1 million for its B. Green stock, part in cash and the rest in a note, according to the financial disclosure form. Last year's report said that the B. Green stock held by that trust was worth between $500,000 and $1 million.

With the exception of Mr. Cardin, Mr. Bartlett and Rep. Constance A. Morella, a Montgomery County Republican, the members of the Maryland delegation appear to be people of modest means.

Mrs. Morella and her husband hold a number of investments with a value of at least $758,000. Their largest asset is her husband's teacher's annuity fund, with a value between $500,000 and $1 million.

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest had the most modest report. The Eastern Shore Republican serving his second term in the House listed a handful of accounts with a total value of at least $4,000 as his only assets.

Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes reported assets worth at least $118,000. But the bulk of that is his Baltimore home, which he valued at between $100,000 and $250,000.

The legislators are not required to include their personal residence in the list of assets, and Mr. Sarbanes was the only Marylander to do so.

The Baltimore Democrat, who is expected to run for re-election next year, was the recipient of two five-day expense-paid overseas trips from the Aspen Institute, a think tank that deals with international issues.

One was a jaunt to Montego Bay, Jamaica, in January 1992, and the other was a trip to Vienna, Austria, in August. Mr. Sarbanes attended conferences on the former Soviet Union, a spokesman said.

Mrs. Morella and her husband followed Mr. Sarbanes to Vienna as guests of the Aspen Institute for five days in August, attending a conference on Eastern Europe.

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