Philadelphia's oversight authority yesterday approved a slate of advisers and underwriters to handle the agency's upcoming bond issue. and chose Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. to be senior manager.

The issue, expected to be at least $350 million, is the second for the oversight board, known as the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority.

PICA's first transaction, a $475 million issue sold in June 1992, was one of several Pennsylvania bond issues in recent years to earn the nickname "Noah's Ark" deal, because patronage positions on the underw-riting team were carefully divided between firms tied to both Republicans and Democrats.

The offerings, which include Pennsylvania Turnpike issues, have been criticized for including firms that duplicate other firms' work product, just for the sake of ensuring that both Republicans and Democrats profit evenly.

Ronald G. Henry, PICA'S executive director, said the staff was not involved in recommending to the board of directors which firms should be selected for the upcoming issue.

Henry said one Republican board appointee, G. Fred Dibona, and one Democratic appointee, Charisse R. Lillie, were responsible for deciding which firms to recommend to other board members. Neither Dibona nor Lillie returned telephone calls yesterday seeking comment on why they recommended the firms selected.

In addition to Pryor McClendon, a firm tied to the Democrats, PICA chose Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., whose managing director in Philadelphia, Wallace H. Nunn, is a Republican fund-raiser. Henry said that other than Pryor's role as bookrunning senior manager, what positions other syndicate members like Smith Barney will fill has not been decided yet.

Kidder, Peabody & Co., RRZ Public Markets Inc., A.H. Williams & Co., and Butcher & Singer were also selected to the underwriting team yesterday. Henry said he expects several others to be added to the list next month. The previous bond sale included 17 underwriting slots.

Bond counsel for the upcoming deal will be Dilworth, Paxson, Kalish & Kauffman and Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen.

PICA also chose Ronald A. White and Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Shiekman & Cohen to act as "special counsel" to the authority.

PaineWebber Inc. will be one of the financial advisers on the deal along with P.G. Corbin & Co. and Penn Capital Advisors. P.G. Corbin replaces Hopkins & Co., which was a financial adviser on the previous PICA issue.

The verification agents will be Jones Hayward & Lenzi and Drucker & Scaccetti. Jane Scaccetti, a partner at the firm, is the wife of state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, D-Philadelphia.

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