A Lear Jet. An art collection worth as much as $25 million. And assets from his boutique hotel empire and other investments that could be worth well over $100 million.
Those are some glimpses at the financial life of Portland businessman Gordon Sondland, who as U.S. ambassador to the European Union is now in the middle of the presidential impeachment fight raging in Washington, D.C.
Sondland announced Friday that he would comply with a subpoena to testify before House impeachment investigators next week despite the objections of the Trump administration.
A 42-page financial disclosure report filed by Sondland with the State Department in May shows that he is involved in a complicated welter of companies, many associated with Provenance Hotels. That's the chain of upscale hotels — including six in Portland — that faced a boycott threat earlier this week from Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
The disclosure report, which covers 2018 and the first four and a half months of 2019, only requires Sondland to give a broad-brush view of his business activities that leaves his income and net worth unclear. But the report does show that he and his wife, Katherine Durant, who is an active investor in her own right, reported income of between $5.5 million and $9.3 million in the 16-month period covered by the report.
Overall, Sondland reported assets worth between $78 million and $185 million.
But even those maximum numbers could be understated. He reported that his stake in one company — Buena Vista Investments LLC of Seattle — is worth more than $50 million and generated income of more than $5 million during the reporting period. He gave no upper limit on the value of that holding.
As is the case for many investors in real estate, Sondland also reports that he has several liabilities, including mortgages and lines of credit. And perhaps surprising for someone of his wealth, he reported between $75,000 and $165,000 in credit card debt — some at interest rates of up to 20%.
All told, he reported debts of between $14 million and nearly $71 million.
Sondland reportedly split his time between several residences prior to his ambassadorship. The report lists ownership of residential properties in Portland, Gearhart and Palm Springs. He and his wife have a home in Portland’s West Hills — estimated by Zillow to have a value of $2.2 million — where Sondland hosted a fundraiser for then-GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush in 2015. However, he has been registered to vote in Seattle and often lists the city as his residence.
As the U.S. ambassador to the EU, Sondland is based in Brussels, and he reported holding between $15,000 and $50,000 in a Belgian bank.
The report also said that Sondland was the manager of a company that owned a Lear Jet between 2016 and June of 2018, shortly before he became ambassador. Federal Aviation Administration records show he's been a licensed pilot.
Sondland is also well known in Portland circles as an avid art collector. He reportedly lent some of his pieces to President George W. Bush for use at the White House. The disclosure report indicates that his collection in Oregon, Washington and California is valued at between $5 million and $25 million.
Around the time that Sondland became ambassador, he seemed to make big shifts in his investment portfolio. He sold somewhere between $6 million and more than $20 million in individual stocks while also making substantial purchases in various investment funds.