Diane Feinstein is in the hotseat, caught in a conflict-of-interest case over her defense contractor husband:
* Attorney Michael R. Klein, a top Feinstein legal adviser and long-time Blum business partner, also served as vice-chairman of Perini’s board of directors. In an interview with Byrne in September, Klein stated that, beginning in 1997, he routinely informed Feinstein about specific federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake. The insider information, Klein said, was intended to help the senator avoid conflicts of interest. Although Klein’s startling admission was intended to defuse the issue of Feinstein’s conflict of interest, it instead exacerbated it.
* Klein explains: “They would get from me a notice that Perini was bidding on a contract that would be affected as we understood it by potential legislation that would come before either the full congress or any committee that she was a member of. And she would as a result of that not act, abstain from dealing with those pieces of legislation.”
* The public record shows, however, that contrary to Klein’s belief, Sen. Feinstein did in fact act on legislation that affected Perini and URS.