By Benjamin Leatherman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Katrina Montgomery
By Robrt L. Pela
By Kathleen Vanesian
By New Times
By Ray Stern
By Eric Tsetsi
March 20, 1992: With sales plummeting, Mercado merchants ask Symington for one-year free rent.
November 17, 1992: Miller is indicted by a federal grand jury in Tucson that charges he received kickbacks from a Tucson real estate broker in exchange for pension fund loans.
December 9, 1992: Pension funds refile Mercado foreclosure suit after Symington's partnership fails to make mortgage payments. A trustee sale is scheduled for March 10, 1993.
December 25, 1992: City of Phoenix warns Symington it will file a default notice after the governor's partnership fails to make lease payments for the city-owned property on which the Mercado was built.
January 29, 1993: Symington declares his net worth "is down to zero."
March 10, 1993: Mercado trustee sale is delayed at last minute to allow further negotiations between Symington and pension funds.
April 10, 1993: Symington asks Phoenix to assume ownership of the crippled Mercado project.
May 1, 1993: Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson rejects Symington's request.
May 13, 1993: Union pension trust funds purchase Mercado at trustee sale for $3.1 million. Trust-fund lawyers say they will sue Symington for the $7 million difference between the purchase price and the Mercado loan.
July 28, 1993: FBI issues subpoenas indicating expansion of Symington criminal probe to include all of his development projects.
March 28, 1994: Miller is sentenced to 37 months in federal prison. He was convicted in December 1993 in U.S. District Court of racketeering and unlawful receipt of payments to influence the operation of a pension plan. May 1994: RTC settles Southwest Savings suit with Symington after determining the governor had no recoverable assets.
August 2, 1994: The FBI serves subpoenas to the City of Phoenix for Mercado files.
August 4, 1994: FBI interviews Symington's Mercado partner, Pete Garcia, for five hours concerning Mercado financing.
November 4, 1994: Union pension funds settle a massive civil suit, collecting $93.3 million in damages from Miller, his former employers and others.
November 8, 1994: Symington wins reelection, easily defeating Democrat Eddie Basha. Basha scarcely mentioned Symington's financial problems during the campaign.
June 21, 1995: Symington retains bankruptcy attorneys, paying a $3,000 initial retainer.
July 24, 1995: Maricopa County Superior Court enters $8.8 million judgment against Symington and the community property he holds with his wife, Ann. Symington's lawyer says, "No one is writing a check today, tomorrow or in the foreseeable future."
July 31, 1995: Symington's lawyers claim in court filings that "no community property exists" between Ann and Fife Symington. Symington and wife embark on a two-week European vacation, stopping in Paris and London. Symington says wife paid for the trip.
August 11, 1995: Mercado judgment increased to $11.5 million to include accrued interest.
August 29, 1995: Pension fund lawyers demand Symington make payments on the judgment or face salary garnishment.
September 7, 1995: Symington agrees to pay 25 percent of his salary toward the judgment. At that rate, it would take 600 years to settle the claim.
September 18, 1995: Pension trust funds reject Symington's "final offer" of $285,000 to settle the $11.5 million debt.
September 20, 1995: Symington files Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to liquidate all liabilities, including his $11.5 million debt to the union pension funds.
September 28, 1995: McMorgan & Company officials vow "to leave no stone unturned" during bankruptcy proceedings to force Symington to pay the judgment.