Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini is again a homeowner.
After having experienced significant and very public problems with houses in relation to the Bonneville Pacific and Giftgate affairs, and after spending about a year in a rented condominium, last month Corradini bought a 16-room, 4,900-square-foot house in the upper Avenues, according to documents filed in the Salt Lake County recorder's office.The purchase price was not disclosed, but the home's assessed value is $417,800 - standard for that area. Cor-radini took out a $297,800 mortgage to buy the home, meaning that if the loan were 80 percent of the purchase price, she provided a down payment of some $75,000.
The mayor says she did not receive any personal gifts or loans from anyone enabling her to purchase the house, and that no one co-signed or guaranteed the bank loan, a conventional mortgage.
Corradini currently draws an annual salary of $84,778.
The mayor's private residence played a significant role in the Bonneville Pacific bankruptcy and Giftgate matters that brought her under heavy legal fire and for which she was roundly criticized, though she was not charged with criminal wrongdoing in either case.
During the months leading up to her $763,000 settlement with Bonneville Pacific bankruptcy trustee Roger Segal in June 1996, Corradini publicly said she would be forced to sell her house to pay the debt. Nevertheless, she and then-husband Yan Ross were able to pay the settlement amount two months before finally selling their house in August 1996 for $696,000.
Segal, surprised that Corradini was able to come up with the money without selling the house, investigated the matter. That ultimately led to revelations that Corradini had solicited and accepted substantial personal cash gifts from wealthy Utahns and others, most in the amount of $10,000 or a multiple thereof, for a total of $231,000.
It was also discovered that in soliciting gifts Corradini had told various donors, such as Franklin Quest co-founder Hyrum Smith, that she was on the verge of personal bankruptcy and in danger of losing her house.
"I felt bad that our mayor might lose her home," Smith said. "Yes, that was a factor (in giving her money)."
After selling their house, Corradini and Ross moved into a home in the Avenues that, it was later discovered, they were renting from Pam and Frank Joklik. Frank Joklik is president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, which is charged with preparing the area for the 2002 Winter Games and thus conducts much business with city officials.
At the time, City Councilwoman Deeda Seed and others called for an investigation into whether Cor-radini was receiving a sweet deal from the Jokliks, a question that was difficult to answer conclusively given the fact that there were few rental houses in the area to compare.
Corradini said she was paying $2,200 per month in rent.
About the time Corradini and Ross divorced in July 1997, she moved into a relatively modest duplex condominium in the area of Foothill Drive, where she lived until purchasing her present home.
Corradini bought a three-story (including basement) brick-and-stucco house with eight bedrooms. The family she bought it from had eight children.
Corradini's new neighbors are feeling a tickle of reflected glory with the mayor residing in their midst.
"Everyone was kind of surprised," one neighbor said. "One person said, `Well, now I'll be able to go right up and complain if something goes wrong.' "