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Hopefuls disclose finances

TIMES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT
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WASHINGTON — No matter who wins the contest for the 23rd Congressional District this fall, the north country will be represented by someone many times wealthier than his average constituent.


That is already the case with Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, who made more than $4 million last year through his law practice and maintained heavy investments in NBT Bank, where he served on the board of directors, the congressman's personal financial disclosure shows.


Mr. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, also reported a buyout of his interest in his law firm, beginning Jan. 1 of this year, paying him $2,500 a month for 60 months.


The financial disclosures for Mr. Owens and his two rivals, filed with the House Clerk's Office, details income, investments, positions and financial liabilities. Along with filings from Douglas L. Hoffman and Matthew A. Doheny, the disclosures illuminate how the three have made most of their money, and which industries or businesses are tied to their future prosperity.


Mr. Owens's emerging main Republican opponent, Matthew A. Doheny of Watertown, reported the greatest income of the three candidates for the seat, with a base salary of $830,555 last year and bonuses totaling $6.1 million.


Mr. Owens reported income of $4,018,204 as a partner at Stafford, Owens, Piller & Trombley, a Plattsburgh law firm. He also reported $250,001 to $500,000 in profit sharing from Stafford, Piller, Murnane, Plimpton, Kelleher & Trombley, a more recent name of the firm that reflects Mr. Owens's departure as a partner after his election to Congress.


Mr. Owens's financial relationship with NBT Bank, which is based in Norwich, extends to his directorship, which paid $63,492. He and his wife, Jane, maintain individual retirement accounts at NBT, and the bank holds a mortgage on the law firm's office at One Cumberland Ave. in Plattsburgh. Mr. Owens also reported $100,000 to $250,000 in NBT common stock.


In addition to the profit sharing, Mr. Owens's assets include $501,000 to $1 million in his IRA; $250,001 to $500,000 in a building partnership for Stafford, Owens, Curtin & Murnane — an earlier name for his law firm; $1,001 to $15,000 in rental income from a Garnsey Road Building Partnership; the NBT common stock; $15,001 to $50,000 in unexercised NBT stock options; $1,001 to $15,000 in Champlain National Bank common stock; $15,001 to $50,000 in Hydroionic Technologies common stock, and $50,001 to $100,000 in an NBT savings bond.


His wife's assets include $15,001 to $50,000 in a retirement plan through Mountain Lake Public Television, as well as an IRA at NBT Bank valued at $1,001 to $15,000.


All of those assets earned income in 2009, he reported.


Mr. Owens's only reported liability greater than $10,000 was a mortgage for his law office, held by NBT Bank, for $50,001 to $100,000.


His relationship with NBT goes beyond personal finances; the bank's political action committee has contributed $3,500 to his congressional campaign for this year, the Federal Election Commission reported.


Mr. Doheny reported $830,555 in base salary last year from Fintech Advisory Inc., as well as $6,124,864 in "performance fee" income. His base compensation through May of this year was $250,000, with bonuses of $240,000.


For last year, he reported $322,253 in deferred compensation from Deutsche Bank Securities, but none through May of this year.


Mr. Doheny reported assets totaling $5 million to $25 million from Fintech Investments; interest income of $1 million to $5 million each from HSBC and JP Morgan Chase Bank; interest of $250,000 to $500,000 each from Watertown Savings Bank and Community Bank N.A., as well as $15,001 to $50,000 in capital gains from a retirement plan through Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a law firm where he used to work.


Mr. Doheny also reported holding $100,001 to $250,000 in cash through Deutsche Bank, and $1,001 to $15,000 in a 401(k) account through Fintech Advisory Inc.


Douglas L. Hoffman, vying again for the Republican and Conservative lines this fall after nearly taking the seat as a third-party candidate last year, reported income through accounting fees, as well as through real estate holdings.


Mr. Hoffman reported income of $182,500 through American Business Transitions Inc.; $93,629 through Dragon Benware Crowley and Co., an accounting firm; $60,486 through Adirondack Asset Management Inc., and $1,200 through the Adirondack Classic Chevy Club.


For this year through May, Mr. Hoffman reported just $6,528 in income through Adirondack Asset Management and $18,870 through the Dragon Benware accounting firm, all in accounting fees, and no income from the classic car club.


For 2009, Mr. Hoffman reported $500,001 to $1 million in dividends through Dragon Benware Crowley and Co.; $250,001 to $500,000 in partnership income from Maple Trail Home Consultant Inc.; $100,001 to $250,001 in business income through Moon Performance LLC; $100,001 to $250,000 in dividends through Adirondack Asset Management; $15,001 to $50,000 in dividends through American Business Transitions Inc., and $100,001 to $250,000 in dividends and interest through T. Hoffman Auto Sales of Lake Placid, where his son, Taylor, is president and Douglas L. Hoffman is vice president.


Mr. Hoffman reported rental income of $500,000 to $1 million for Crestview Plaza, 2000 Saranac Ave., in Lake Placid; joint rental income of the same range at Buck Island, Lake Placid; rental income of $250,000 to $500,000 at 5659 Cascade Road, Lake Placid; $100,001 to $250,000 in dividends through Lake Placid Teddy Bear Inc., where he is a member of the board of directors, and $500,000 to $1 million in capital gains from a classic car collection.


Mr. Hoffman, too, has dealings with NBT Bank. He reported joint interest income from NBT of $1,001 to $15,000, one line of credit ranging from $250,001 to $500,000 and a second line of credit, for a camp, for $15,001 to $15,000.


Mr. Hoffman also reported a wide range of stock holdings, with an emphasis on stock index funds; most were valued no greater than $50,000.


Mr. Hoffman reported positions with several organizations. He was treasurer and secretary of the Adirondack Medical Center Foundation Inc., a member of the Olympic Regional Development Authority's audit committee, a member of the local advisory committee of the Twin Rivers Council of the Boy Scouts of America, an officer/director at the Lake Placid Festival of Cars and a member of Moon Performance LLC, a high-end auto tuning and performance center in Lake Placid.


He also reported positions as a member of Maple Trail Home Consultant Inc.; an officer/director at Lake Placid Classic Cars Inc.; an officer/director at T. Hoffman Auto Sales Inc., his son's business; a partner at Crestview Plaza, and a partner at 5659 Cascade Road, Lake Placid.


Mr. Hoffman kept one area of his business dealing secret, citing confidentiality agreements and declining to reveal names and addresses of four clients who paid more than $5,000 in accounting and business consulting fees.

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