Tate ends his candidacy for RTC chief

December 01, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON -- Stanley G. Tate, chosen by President Clinton to manage the savings and loan cleanup, bitterly withdrew his nomination yesterday, calling Washington a "vicious city" in which he had been subjected to anonymous death threats and encountered entrenched opposition from bureaucrats opposed to any reform.

Mr. Tate, a Florida real estate developer and banker, also blamed Donald W. Riegle Jr., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, for refusing to meet with him or hold a confirmation hearing on his nomination to head the Resolution Trust Corp.

Mr. Tate had been acting as a consultant to the RTC, now run by Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger C. Altman. "I am both saddened and deeply dismayed by the manner in which my nomination was handled," Mr. Tate told reporters.

Senator Riegle, a Michigan Democrat whose committee is responsible for the confirmation hearings on financial regulators, said in a statement that "several serious questions had arisen with respect to the nomination of Stanley Tate."

Mr. Riegle referred to reports that Mr. Tate had asked RTC officials to give him information about enforcement cases involving an acquaintance. On another occasion, Mr. Tate reportedly attended a meeting of RTC officials dealing with cancellation of contracts with the former law firm of a Louisiana congressman.

Mr. Tate said he gave the Treasury Department a book filled with details of widespread waste and possible fraud at the Resolution Trust Corp., the agency handling the disposal of more than $300 billion in assets from failed savings and loans. He was nominated in July to run the RTC.

Mr. Tate said he wanted to distribute the report on RTC waste and fraud at yesterday's news conference but was warned against it by high-ranking Treasury officials, who reminded him of a confidentiality agreement he had signed.

He said the Treasury officials, whom he refused to identify, warned that distribution of the book could lead to a nasty political dispute that would damage him and his family.

In a seven-page letter addressed to the president and American people, Mr. Tate said, "there are employees working for the RTC who are afraid of me and obviously afraid of what changes to the system I might bring about. These people are really concerned that some of their actions and activities would be revealed."

Mr. Tate said he had received two threatening calls, including one in which the caller reportedly said: "Tell Tate he is dead." The death threat is being investigated by the FBI.

"Mr. President, Washington is a vicious city, with all kinds of hidden agendas," Mr. Tate said in his open letter. "It is a city full of rumors, allegations and accusations, without much, if any regard for truthfulness or factuality as to the accusations or allegations," he said.

A Republican, Mr. Tate was selected after a lengthy search for a nominee to run an agency criticized for poor management, sloppy record-keeping and erratic policies.

Describing himself as a careful businessman who watches the pennies, Mr. Tate said RTC officials were indifferent to the wasting of millions of dollars.

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