Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    formerly LJ4MVP KI4MVP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    11,064
    Thanks
    2,696
    Thanked 5,953 Times in 2,180 Posts

    Default Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    I didn't see a thread - last week fisher wanted to have independent audits of the unions books. Fisher immediately rallied support to attempt to replace Fisher as president of the players association.

    Today this news is reported by Bloomberg.

    Nepotism Concern Roils NBA Union as Players Question Hire

    The National Basketball Players Association, whose business practices are being questioned by President Derek Fisher, paid almost $4.8 million to Executive Director Billy Hunter’s family members and their professional firms since 2001, according to public records.

    Fisher was asked to resign last week by the union’s leadership after he sought an outside review of finances. The request for him to step down came after the association’s executive committee spoke with Hunter on a conference call.

    Hunter, a former U.S. attorney who led the players through two work stoppages, has a daughter and daughter-in-law on staff at the union. Another daughter is special counsel at a law firm used by the association, and Hunter’s son is a principal at a financial planning and investment firm that last fiscal year was paid $45,526 a month to run the union’s financial awareness program and advise on investments, according to filings with the U.S. Labor Department.

    “It’s not a criminal act, but it’s not something I would do,” said Marvin Miller, who led baseball players through three strikes and two lockouts as their salaries rose 12-fold between 1966 and 1982.

    Union spokesman Dan Wasserman said the executive committee knows about the Hunter family’s positions with the organization. He said Hunter was unavailable to comment.

    ‘Ethical Concern’

    While Hunter isn’t breaking any law or violating association rules, having so many relatives making money from the union is enough for an independent examination, said Robert Barbato, a business ethics professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

    “The involvement of so many family members who are receiving significant economic benefits raises enough of an ethical concern that an independent review seems required,” Barbato said in an e-mail. “Unless there is a reasonable explanation for calling for his resignation, I’m especially concerned that the executive committee has tried to silence Derek Fisher.”

    Hunter, 69, discussed his family’s role in the union and the organization’s finances during the conference call last week with its executive committee, said the Washington Wizards’ Maurice Evans, a member of the nine-player group. After it concluded, the committee asked for Fisher’s resignation, saying he failed to uphold his duties as president. Fisher didn’t participate in the call.

    Fisher, who signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder last month, in an April 20 statement said he was “extremely disappointed” with the executive committee.
    “I have tried to convey the legal and moral obligations we have as union officers,” said Fisher, 37. “Sadly, the executive committee has now waged a personal character attack on me to divert attention from the real issue.”


    Authority to Hire

    According to the union’s constitution, the executive director of the 450-member organization has the authority to hire and establish salaries for administrative and legal staffs, outside counsel and other advisers.

    Hunter took over as executive director in 1996. A former National Football League player, he was the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California from 1977-84.

    His son, Todd, is one of three partners at Prim Capital Corp., a Cleveland-based firm that runs the union’s financial awareness program and advises the organization on its investments. The union had about $210 million in assets as of July 2011, according to its annual filing with the U.S. Department of Labor.

    Prim’s Fees

    The association has paid Prim almost $3 million since 2005, according to filings.
    Prim has been working for the union since at least 1999, and Todd Hunter joined in 2002, Prim spokeswoman Carolyn Kaufman said in a telephone interview. Todd Hunter didn’t work on union matters until 2008, she said. Prim’s contract with the union bars the company from taking players as money management clients, she said.

    Todd Hunter didn’t respond to voicemail and e-mail requests for comment.

    Wasserman said the work was put out for bid and Prim was selected over at least three other companies.

    Billy Hunter’s daughter Alexis has worked for two law firms that were hired by the union since he took over. According to her LinkedIn profile, she left the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco in 2007 and joined Washington-based Howrey LLP in September, 2007. The union made its first payment to Howrey, of $60,035, on Sept. 21, 2007, and $380,917 in total before she left the firm for Steptoe & Johnson LLP in April 2011, according to the filings.


    New Firm Hired

    The next month, the union hired her new firm to file an unfair labor practice charge against the NBA with the National Labor Relations Board. In October, she was listed as an attorney of record for the union in a reply to a lawsuit brought against the players by the NBA. Records of how much Washington-based Steptoe & Johnson billed the union during the lockout, when team owners shut down the league, will be on the 2012 filing, which hasn’t been submitted.

    Wasserman said the union hired Howrey because its former general counsel Gary Hall, who died a year ago, had a relationship with an attorney there. The union switched to Steptoe & Johnson when he moved there. Howrey filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and dissolved last year.

    Billy Hunter’s daughter Robyn, the union’s benefits director, was on the organization’s payroll with an annual salary of $82,954, according to the 2011 Labor Department filing. She has been paid $201,234 since joining the union near the start of 2009.

    Daughter-In-Law

    Todd Hunter’s wife, Megan Inaba, currently the union’s director of special events, has been on the payroll since 2001 - - before she and Todd Hunter were married -- and has made almost $1.2 million. She was paid $70,948 as the union’s director of career programs in 2002.

    According to the 2011 filing, she was paid $173,219, fifth-most at the union, and more than the $163,458 paid to Pamela Wheeler, director of operations for the women’s players union.
    In total, Hunter’s relatives and their firms, excluding the executive director, have been paid $4,768,685 since 2001, the filings show.

    “That about says it all,” Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes, the team’s alternate representative to the union, said in an interview. “I don’t see what it hurts to try and see how the money is spent.”


    Hunter’s Salary

    Hunter himself made $2.39 million in salary, according to the 2011 filing, the most of the three major-sports unions based in the U.S. NFL union chief DeMaurice Smith made $1.38 million, according to the 2011 filing. Baseball’s Michael Weiner made $1 million.

    Former NBA player and executive board member Jerome Williams said the structure of the basketball union merits examination.

    “It’s a fine line because of how many players are represented and the amount of money that’s influenced by one person,” Williams, 38, said via telephone. “As a former vice president, I would have to advise the group that it would be wise to diversify.”

    Last week, the executive committee first agreed with Fisher’s call for an outside examination of the union. The players changed their minds after hearing from Hunter in the conference call.
    In calling for his resignation in an April 20 statement, the committee accused Fisher of conduct detrimental to the union and not acting in the players’ best interest

    Annual Audits

    The union in that statement said it performs annual audits and shares the results with the executive committee and player representatives. The association completed an audit in February and will share the results at its summer meeting. In addition, the statement said the union would conduct a business review “in a timely manner.” It wasn’t specific.

    The executive committee is composed of Fisher, the Boston Celtics’ Keyon Dooling; the Miami Heat’s James Jones; the San Antonio Spurs’ Matt Bonner; the Washington Wizards’ Roger Mason and Evans; the Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul; the Los Angeles Lakers’ Theo Ratliff; and Etan Thomas, who isn’t on a roster.

    Basketball hall-of-famer Bob Cousy, one of the founders of the players association in 1954, said Fisher might have trouble gaining support from his peers.

    “I doubt whether they’re seriously interested in the whole thing unless it affects them directly,” the 83-year-old said in a telephone interview. “At that age, all these man-children are busy doing their own thing.”


    Declined Invitation

    Evans told reporters on April 20 that Fisher declined an invitation from the executive committee to defend himself on a conference call with Hunter. Nepotism at the union was among the topics discussed on the call, Evans said.

    “Billy answered those questions to our satisfaction, was very open and candid with us, and we were satisfied, and again, the players were disappointed because Derek has yet to address us,” he said.

    Miller, 95, said in a telephone interview that hiring family makes him squeamish.

    “I would never do it,” he said.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...tion-hire.html

  2. #2
    Admittedly Pompous Randolphkeys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    13,898
    Thanks
    10,151
    Thanked 19,493 Times in 4,817 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    David Stern must be happy about the union attacking each other, but disappointed that it didn't happen six months ago.
    “It's hard for winners to do comedy. Comedy is inherently subversive. We represent the underdog as comedy usually speaks for the lower classes. We attack the winners.” ~Harold Ramis

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Randolphkeys For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Situational Stopper
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    385
    Thanks
    374
    Thanked 203 Times in 116 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    Anytime someone INSIDE an organization raises questions and those in charge try to silence him (especially by trying to get rid of him), there's ALWAYS something going wrong in the organization. Looks like there's both smoke AND fire here.

  5. #4
    formerly LJ4MVP KI4MVP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    11,064
    Thanks
    2,696
    Thanked 5,953 Times in 2,180 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    maybe I need a better title for this thread, this story is far bigger than the artest elbow. More news today, this time from Adrian Wojnarowski

    In the aftermath of the U.S. banking crisis in 2008, Garrity had grown increasingly suspicious of an investment bank project that Hunter had been pitching to the executive committee and player representatives. For Garrity and some peers in the NBPA, the investment made no sense.
    Hunter had sought a $7 million to $9 million investment from the union into Interstate Net Bank of Cherry Hill, N.J., a financial institution that federal and state banking regulators had slapped with debilitating "cease-and-desist" orders, sources said.

    Garrity discovered information online that left him feeling obligated to confront Billy Hunter: Hunter's son, Todd, had a seat on the board of directors of Interstate Net Bank.

    Todd Hunter is also a vice president for Prim Capital, which has a consulting contract with the NBPA that has paid the company in excess of $2.5 million since 2006, according to U.S. Department of Labor filings.

    "Why didn't you disclose any of this?" Garrity asked Hunter several times at the 2009 meeting, witnesses told Yahoo! Sports.
    and

    The potential conflicts were far deeper and connective than Garrity realized at the time, a Yahoo! Sports investigation has discovered. Prim Capital controlled 200,000 shares of ISN Bank stock, according to a 2010 ISN Bank letter to stockholders. In addition to Todd Hunter, another Prim employee, executive Carolyn Kaufman, joined the bank's board of directors of ISN in 2004 and was paid $97,000 and $90,000 in consecutive years, according to a KPMG audit of ISN Bank in January 2008 that Yahoo! Sports obtained. She owned 250 shares of the stock, according to the March 2010 ISN letter to stockholders. The audits had been available online.

    "Ms. Kaufman was appointed to the board at the request of Prim Capital, which owns 200,000 shares. The combined 200,250 shares represent 4.9 percent of the outstanding shares," the 2010 letter from ISN senior vice president and CFO William Easterday said.
    The NBPA retained Howrey LLP, a New York law firm, to work as legal counsel on "banking projects," sources told Yahoo! Sports. During most of this engagement, Howrey employed Alexis Hunter, Billy Hunter's daughter.

    Howrey received its first payment of $60,035 from the NBPA in September 2007 – the same month it hired Alexis Hunter as a special counsel. She stayed employed at Howrey until March 2011, days before the firm was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy by its creditors.

    During Alexis Hunter's employment with the firm, the NBPA paid Howrey $316,550, according to U.S. Department of Labor filings.

    After Howrey shut down in March, Alexis Hunter was hired as special counsel at the New York-based law firm of Steptoe & Johnson in April 2011 – within the same period the NBPA hired Steptoe & Johnson to take on a bulk of its legal work for the pending NBA lockout. Alexis Hunter appeared in the Southern District Court of New York in September and October on behalf of the NBPA requesting the court dismiss an antitrust claim by the NBA. Alexis Hunter didn't return a voicemail seeking comment.

    clip

    Steptoe & Johnson has billed the NBPA more than $1 million for its work since April 2011, sources close to the firm told Yahoo! Sports.
    Two more of Billy Hunter's family members – daughter Robyn Hunter and daughter-in-law Megan Ibana – have senior staff positions in the NBPA's New York office. Robyn Hunter made $86,198 from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, as director of benefits and concierge services, according to Department of Labor filings.

    Inaba, the wife of Todd Hunter, was paid $180,444 from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011. Among her responsibilities are coordinating the union's All-Star weekend gala and summer meetings, as well as running the union's Twitter account and handling other social media responsibilities. In her position as director of special events, Inaba has averaged the sixth-highest salary in the NBPA over the past five years: $148,633 per year, according to the filings.

    clip

    As NBA players lost $400 million in salary during last summer's lockout – and $3 billion over the course of the new 10-year collective bargaining agreement – Billy Hunter, his family and the entities that employed them made approximately $3,430,953 from July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011, according to labor filings.

    clip

    These were central themes to Garrity's objections in February 2009 in Phoenix: Due process for hiring, and the appearance of Hunter's family ties impacting union business and finances. Garrity wanted answers about Hunter's motivation for investing into a small New Jersey bank that the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, "was a toxic mix of brokered deposits, construction and land development loans and questionable management."

    Beyond the banking issue, Garrity raised questions about the process that led to the hiring of Hunter's daughter, Robyn, into a newly created staff position of director of benefits and concierge services. What was the human resources process? Was the job posted? Who else was interviewed?

    League sources told Yahoo! Sports that the NBPA's health care provider, Cigna, had offered a premium service that would've afforded the Players Association access to a telephone concierge service to answer and assist players on benefits issues. Because the NBA was such an elite account for Cigna, the service would've come free of charge. Billy Hunter rejected the idea, sources said, and within months hired his daughter in a role with some duties similar to the ones that had been offered to the Players Association.

    The pursuit of the $7 million to $9 million bank investment didn't end in the February 2009 meeting when Garrity raised questions with Derek Fisher, union lawyers and several members of the executive committee in the room. Despite ISN Bank officials sending dire shareholder letters over these same months, Hunter stayed on course seeking an investment from the NBPA. Four months after Garrity confronted Hunter, the push for investment into the failing ISN Bank was still alive at an NBPA meeting in Las Vegas in late June 2009, sources said.

    The pursuit of ISN Bank eventually ended as ISN spiraled beyond revival in early 2010, sources said. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance closed the bank in September 2010. The FDIC bailout of Interstate Net Bank cost taxpayers $23.9 million.

    At least one banking executive who was familiar with ISN was concerned about the solvency and stability of the bank. Gerry Banmiller, CEO of First Colonial Bank in Collingswood, N.J., told the Philadelphia Business Journal that he received "more than one phone call" in 2008 asking whether his bank would be interested in purchasing ISN.

    "But published information about the bank led me to believe that we couldn't have resurrected it," Banmiller told the Journal. "It was in the tomb to stay."

    clip

    The network of Hunter family members in positions of potential conflict and influence with NBPA business has been a crux of Fisher's push for a review of the NBPA's business and financial practices, sources said.

    clip


    As Garrity was shouted down, Fisher and his peers did nothing to back him that day, sources said. Fisher kept saying it wasn't the time or place for such a discussion, witnesses said. When Fisher wouldn't back him, witnesses said, Garrity seemed to understand it was pointless to keep pressing Hunter and Hall.

    After Garrity left the 2009 meeting, sources said Hunter made a request: He told the executive committee he was owed several years of missed vacation, and that Hunter deserved $1 million in compensation. Eventually, the committee granted it.

    Garrity and members of the executive committee had been aware of Todd Hunter's role with Prim Capital, an outside contractor to the NBPA. Todd Hunter had worked for Prim Capital of Independence, Ohio, since September 2002, when he was hired as a vice president for the financial planning and investment strategy company. Prim Capital had pitched Billy Hunter and NBPA leadership at the union's summer meeting in 2002 and entered into a signed agreement to run the union's financial awareness program for its 450 players in early 2003.

    Todd Hunter often runs seminars with each of the 30 NBA teams each season, and an NBA official present at the seminars offers a disclaimer on the league's behalf prior to Prim's presentation. "The disclaimer is specific to Prim as they are contracted by the union as opposed to other presenters who are contracted by both of us [the union and the league]," NBA spokesman Tim Frank told Yahoo! Sports.

    Prim Capital's chairman and president, Joe Lombardo, worked with Billy Hunter and the NBPA in two previous employments at Merrill Lynch and Prudential, and started Prim Capital in 1997. For most of the 2002-03 NBA season, Prim Capital entered into an agreement with the Players Association to provide a "comprehensive investment portfolio analysis program." Lombardo didn't return a message.

    Yahoo! Sports obtained the NBPA's 2002-2003 consulting agreement with Prim, which was an exhibit to a complaint in a lawsuit between CSI Capital Management and Prim. The agreement reads, "The NBPA believes that its members will benefit if they have an opportunity to engage in an objective company like Prim."

    At the beginning of Prim's agreement with the NBPA in 2003, Prim performed financial reviews for players that included the chance to cut themselves into the monies purported to be recovered on the players' behalf. The agreement allowed Prim to share in 50 percent of the savings obtained through restructuring fees through existing money managers. If Prim lowered a player's fees, Prim shared in the savings.

    CSI Capital Management of San Francisco disagreed with the idea the union was helping to provide independent audits. CSI sued Prim for unfair business practices, slander and that Prim's ostensibly "free and objective" audits were actually being provided in an attempt to encourage players to secure Prim's services. Prim filed a countersuit against CSI and eventually a settlement was reached.

    Philip Scott Ryan, an attorney for CSI, wrote in a letter to Billy Hunter that "allowing Prim to do audits for your union members is equivalent to having an agent auditing other agent's work. The absence of objectivity and the pressure of unending conflicts of interest are obvious."

    The NBPA and Prim changed the structure of agreements after the CSI lawsuit, and the union began to pay Prim a flat annual fee for the services, sources said. Prim has been forbidden to take the players as clients. Over the past five years, government filings show the NBPA paid Prim an average of $501,986 a year for its services.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--nb...es-to-son.html

  6. #5
    formerly LJ4MVP KI4MVP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    11,064
    Thanks
    2,696
    Thanked 5,953 Times in 2,180 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    this chart was part of that last article


  7. The Following User Says Thank You to KI4MVP For This Useful Post:


  8. #6
    Admittedly Pompous Randolphkeys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    13,898
    Thanks
    10,151
    Thanked 19,493 Times in 4,817 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    The argument could also be made that Hunter has been more successful in gaining ground for NBA players to be successful than Gene Upshaw, but still Hunter looks to have made some serious mistakes in the past couple of years. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
    “It's hard for winners to do comedy. Comedy is inherently subversive. We represent the underdog as comedy usually speaks for the lower classes. We attack the winners.” ~Harold Ramis

  9. #7
    Reading and reacting Chocomatch Champion Sawduzt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Sunny Bognor Regis, Great Britain
    Posts
    4,309
    Thanks
    1,726
    Thanked 2,623 Times in 986 Posts

    Default Re: Fisher/NBPA/Hunter saga

    How can roger mason jr be on the exec commitee, he has some of the lowest bball IQ in the league. Whats next? javale mcgee completes his doctorate?

    Also, props to chris paul for actually bothering to be involved, most of the top stars dont seem to care.
    "Now you see me and now you get it in your face!" AC

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •