Thursday, September 02, 2010

California Attorney General Investigating Dodgers Dream Foundation PR Nightmare

Apparently the California Attorney General's office is a little behind on its periodicals reading. About two months since the NYT reported Dodgers SVP of Public Affairs received a $400K salary from the $1.6M budget Dodgers Dream Foundation, the attorney general's office has decided to investigate:

This one, though, is a real low. Not just another money-juggling act by the club but one that may have impacted a team charity in an unscrupulous manner.

The attorney general’s office is investigating the compensation the Dodgers Dream Foundation made to club executive Howard Sunkin, who is an advisor / lobbyist / assistant for Frank McCourt.

The investigation centers on the $400,000 in salary Sunkin received from the charitable foundation in 2007, which was a quarter of the charity’s entire budget. [...]

The attorney general’s office has sent a letter to the Dodgers requesting several documents and answers to questions as to how the charity paid Sunkin. [...] The [New York] Times said a salary of $400,000 was more in line for someone running a $100-million charity.

As if the McCourts didn't have enough headaches with which to deal right now. But think of all the baseball fields the Foundation could have built.

12 comments:

Paul said...

Man I forgot what it is like to have sane ownership. This franchise has been abused the last 12 years.

Waiting to see a tweet on how this is not as bad as the decision to hire Colettii.

MR. F said...

(cries)

Paul said...

Cheer up Mr. F you have fantasy football to focus on and come next spring we will all find reason to hope.

This is the gift and curse of being emotionally involved with a baseball team. When I say emotionally involved I don't mean the type of relationship Dusty and James Loney had the other night.

karina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karina said...

I'm just curious, but what would the Attorney General do with that info? would it impact the team? would they have to pay taxes?

I don't know, but if the charity was private, their fiscal records and finances are private. If they are paying state taxes, what will the AG investigate?

I'm sorry if I Iook ignorant, I am :)

karina said...

@Mr F everything is gonna be all right, don't worry.

el montanero said...

cub, red sox, white sox, angel fans, etc...all bitches. it's a hard-knock life being a dodger fan. tougher than any other fan base in the league, in my opinion.

rbnlaw said...

Word, el m.

karina,
The AG would look into it as an abuse of funds raised for "charity." When most of what a charity raises goes to the salary of one man, the AG (and the public) smell fraud. Since one donor probably couldn't bring a lawsuit, the AG rides in on his white horse and saves the day.

In other news, Jerry Brown's polling trends downward in Los Angeles.

Rafael Bournigal said...

Every time I see Jerry Brown's name I can't help but think Dead Kennedys.. Anyways.. This is a nightmare.... The ownership of this team since O'malley sold the team has been blunder after blunder.

Dusty Baker said...

I was typing a response re the AG, but it ended up being a whole lot like RBN's reply.

But one last point for Karina:

A charity has certain tax status, meaning since it is set up as a charity, it enjoys the ability to pay taxes at a much lower rate, or sometimes not at all, as a ways for the country and for states to encourage charitable work. In exchange, that charity has to follow certain guidelines. When the head of the said charity is paid out the lion's share of the charity's revenue, it raises alarm bells.

So yes, they are private, but given their status, they must comply with certain guidelines as well as not acting fraudulently (e.g., convincing people to donate for a certain reason but not spending the money as they said they would).

Stinks to high heaven.

Plus, it could ruin my future plans to be Dodgers' lobbyist/fixer in the future.

Eric 'Da Gnome said...

This ownership stinks to high heaven- they don't pay taxes on 108M over 5 years, the Dodgers pay rent to themselves on property they own, argue for charitable works, rather than better paid players, don't offer arbitration to players for fear of having them stay, and now overpay someone running a charity....

Too bad Dodger fandom can't collectively go on strike to have the McCourts sell the club.

karina said...

@rbnlaw @Dusty Baker so the justice system defends the disadvantaged individuals.Go figure! (not being sarcastic btw)

@Rafael Bournigal you just reminded me of a band I haven't listened anything in years, now I should :)

@el montanero Indians fans have it pretty rough, same as the Royals fans. I know I can't feel pity for Giants fans, but they have it rough too.

p.s that's a beautiful pup