Alfred Villalobos, a Nevada businessman facing criminal charges in the CalPERS bribery scandal, says he is in "failing health" and nearly died two years ago.
Villalobos made the disclosure in a recent filing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where he is fighting a lawsuit filed by the state three years ago over his CalPERS dealings.
The 69-year-old Villalobos, along with former CalPERS Chief Executive Fred Buenrostro, were indicted earlier this year on federal charges of forging documents to ensure that Villalobos would earn millions in fees from his Wall Street clients.
In an unusual move in late June, federal and state officials moved to "stay," or put on hold, a series of civil cases against Villalobos. The goal is to keep the civil cases from interfering with the criminal prosecution.
Villalobos is fighting those efforts, saying the civil cases need to come to trial as soon as possible.
"He wants to clear his name - he's waited several years to do that," said Villalobos' lawyer, Sheila Van Duyne Romero, from her office in Reno.
In his court filing, in late July, Villalobos said, "My health has seriously declined over the past several years. I had serious heart valve transplant surgery and almost died due to that in 2011. I am at constant threat to develop inflammation of the brain and tissues around the heart if I get an infection that is not treated immediately with antibiotics.
"I am now suffering from several incurable degenerative conditions, have been forced to walk with two canes," he added.
Romero declined to discuss Villalobos' health, saying his court statement "speaks for itself."
A federal magistrate judge has already denied the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's effort to stay the agency's lawsuit against Villalobos and Buenrostro. A hearing will be held Thursday in Los Angeles on the state's effort to stay its three-year-old lawsuit against the two men.
The lawsuit says Villalobos bribed Buenrostro and others at CalPERS to gain favor for Villalobos' clients, a group of private equity firms that were seeking the pension fund's investment dollars.
Records released by CalPERS show that Villalobos earned more than $50 million in commissions after securing pension fund investments for his clients.
Call The Bee's Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.