Reid revises his finance reports for seven years

WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid on Thursday revised his official financial disclosures for seven years, including the reporting on a controversial 2001 Las Vegas land deal.

Reid, D-Nev., filed amendments to his personal finance reports for the years 2000 to 2006 in 42-page document submitted to the Senate.

The changes do little to alter Reid’s bottom line among the top third wealthiest senators, with assets worth between $2.6 million and $6.2 million. But the move to clear up old reports comes as Reid, the Senate majority leader, is running for re-election in 2010 and expects to have every scrap of paper scrutinized by opponents.

A spokesman said the revisions came as a result of an audit Reid ordered of his personal finances early in 2006. Though Reid’s portfolio includes healthy shares of stock funds and municipal bonds, much of his wealth is tied to real estate and mining claims in the Southwest.

Reid initiated the audit, which was conducted by Senate staff, a year after he became the Senate’s Democratic leader, and as he came under greater scrutiny as a national figure.

Spokesman Jon Summers maintained the examination was under way before Reid came under fire in October 2006 for failing to fully report a 2001 transaction involving land he owned on Patrick Lane, south of Spring Valley.

While defending his handling of the land deal, Reid said at the time he would revise his financial disclosures in consultation with the Senate ethics committee to more clearly reflect the history of the parcel.

Republicans on Thursday indicated they plan to make the Patrick Lane land deal an issue in the upcoming campaign that they said will focus on Reid’s ethics.

"Whether or not Harry Reid is finally submitting accurate information to the Senate Ethics Committee does not address the key outstanding questions. Namely, why he failed to disclose such a personally profitable land deal in the first place, and more importantly, how he came to be the recipient of a $1.1 million windfall," said Amber Wilkerson, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Disclosure of the Patrick Lane transactions was made in the amendments filed Thursday, along with other changes covering the first half of the decade. Some of the information was contained in Reid’s 2007 and 2008 reports that members of Congress are required to file each May; the new documents carry those changes back through earlier years.

Reid did not comment on the amended reports.

The documents show:

• Reid owning a quarter-acre piece of land in Alamo that he did not report prior to 2006. The vacant lot is located at Main and Cottonwood streets, according to Lincoln County tax records, and is currently assessed at $3,800.

Summers said Reid bought the land when its value was below the $1,000 threshold required to be reported to the Senate. Through an oversight it was never reported even when its value grew to more than $1,000, he said.

Summers said Reid bought he property "in the 1990s." A purchase date could not be immediately learned from Lincoln County property records.

• Reid revising downward the worth of his most valuable asset, 160 acres he owns in Bullhead City, Ariz.

In years before 2006, Reid said the land was worth between $500,000 and $1 million, a value based on an attempted sale of the land in the early 1990s. Buyers who purchased the property for $1.3 million defaulted on the note, and the land was returned to Reid and a partner.

Reid now is reporting its value at between $250,000 and $500,000. Summers said that range more accurately reflected its assessed value by Mohave County.

The land currently is valued at $479,430, according to Mohave County property records.

• Reid amended a 2006 report that said he was on the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts. He had dropped from those boards a year earlier.

• Reid finally and formally reporting the 2001 transaction that got him in trouble when it came to light in 2006.

In the deal, Reid transferred his ownership in two parcels on Patrick Lane near Fort Apache Road for a membership interest in a holding company, called Patrick Lane LLC, headed by Las Vegas attorney Jay Brown, a Reid friend and business partner.

Three years later, the land was sold and Reid received $1.1 million of the proceeds, reaping a $700,000 profit. Absent full disclosure, at the time it appeared Reid was reaping a windfall profit on land he did not own.

In the face of questions about whether he was forthright about the property, Reid defended the 2001 transfer as legal and proper.

Summers said the Reid amendments were reviewed and cleared by the ethics committee before they were filed with the Senate.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760.

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