Saturday, December 11, 2010

Where is Manchin friend, house guest & former yacht co-owner Diane Dileo Luensmann now?

The first many of us ever heard of Diane Dileo Luensmann was sometime after the infamous February 2003 purchase of the yacht, "Black Tie" (a 54 foot Sea Ray Sundancer 540)!  Diane and her husband, Charles "Chuck" Luensmann, III, in partnership with then West Virginia Secretary of State Joe Manchin and his wife Gayle Manchin, bought the yacht for $620,000 (The Charleston Gazette, March 5, 2006).  The four of them then formed a company for their ownership of the yacht -- Harbor Side Marine --  and incorporated it in Delaware on March 6, 2003, even though Joe Manchin was the WV Secretary of State!

In the interim, Charles and Diane Luensmann filed for bankruptcy in Massachusetts but did not initially disclose their half-interest in the $620,000 yacht.

Diane Luensmann's husband died in 2004 and sometime after May 2005 she moved into the Governor's Mansion with then newly elected Governor & Mrs. Joe Manchin.  Though the exact length of time Diane resided in the Mansion is unknown, it was later rumored that Manchin had helped her find a home, maybe just before he gave her a job as his liasison to the Democratic Governors Association in December 2005.

In May 2005, Diane Luensmann sold her one-half interest in the yacht "Black Tie" to Joe Manchin; J. Richard "Dick" Barber, former Gov. Arch's Moore's liquor commissioner (convicted on 20 federal charges) and owner of Central Distributing Company (a beer distributorship); Chris Jarrett, former president of West Virginia-American Water Company and Roger Ramsey, a former neighbor of Manchin's. The purchase price of the yacht was then $566,000.

As recently as August 2010, the yacht "Black Tie" was reportedly docked on the Kanawha River, near the State Capitol, which coincides with the timeframe that Governor Joe Manchin wanted to build a $400,000 boat dock on Capitol grounds (The Charleston Gazette).

Though it is unknown when Diane Luensmann's paid position with the Democratic Governors Association ended, the last employment information I could find lists her as Communications Director for US Congressman Nick Rahall, D-WV, 3rd District, from January 1, 2009 through at least September 30, 2010, at an annual salary of over $100,000!  She may still be in that well-paid position!

Ann Warwick

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