Gates' Assets Include Defense Stock

The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 6, 2006; 3:54 AM

WASHINGTON -- One of Robert Gates' first moves as defense secretary would be unloading up to $250,000 in stock he holds in a defense contractor, one of several companies he has been involved with in recent years.

If confirmed as defense secretary, Gates will divest his holdings in the contractor, NACCO Industries, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. He will step away from any Defense Department matters involving NACCO for at least a year, she said.

Gates is a member of the board of directors of NACCO Industries, the Cleveland-based parent of the NACCO Materials Handling Group, a lift-truck company and Defense Department contractor.

He holds stock worth $100,000 to $250,000 and earned $134,750 in director fees from the company since 2005, the financial report he filed with the federal government shows.

Gates plans to sell all the stock he owns in individual companies and sever all ties with them if the Senate confirms him as Pentagon chief, Perino said. The Senate Armed Services Committee backed Gates on Tuesday. A vote by the full Senate is expected soon.

The Cabinet post would mean a pay cut for Gates. Like the man he would succeed, Donald Rumsfeld, Gates is a millionaire. The defense secretary post pays $183,500 a year; Gates earned nearly that much from speeches alone over the past few years.

Among his other holdings, Gates is part of BLO Family Properties, a family owned company in Mount Vernon, Wash. He described that asset as worth $1 million to $5 million.

Other assets and earnings detailed in Gates' financial report from 2005 to the present include:

_ $752,788 in salary as president of Texas A&M University.

_ $137,469 in a lump sum from a Texas A&M deferred compensation plan.

_ $397,834 in compensation from Fidelity Investments, where he is chairman of the board of trustees.

_ $163,000 from a total of 10 speeches, including $16,000 each in speaking fees from National Pest Management, AIM Investments, Mellon Financial, Target Corp. and others and $20,000 for addressing the Securing America's Future Energy Foundation.

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