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Dodgers executive was paid almost a fourth of club's charity budget in 2007, report says

Some day there will be good news that springs from Dodgers ownership.

Fabforum Not today, though. And recent history suggests, not any time soon.

The latest public relations black eye to Frank McCourt & Co. comes courtesy of the New York Times, which reported Friday that a high-ranking team executive was paid almost one-fourth of its team charity’s budget in 2007.

Howard Sunkin, a senior vice president who is McCourt’s liaison in public affairs, was paid over $400,000 when the entire Dodgers Dream Foundation budget in 2007 was $1.6 million.

The NYT said his compensation was more in line for a charity of over $100 million. He was reportedly working 40 hours a week for the foundation, while also advising McCourt on dealings with politicians and business leaders.

Sunkin would not comment for the story. Team spokesman Josh Rawitch said in a statement the 2007 compensation actually included a bonus for achieving a three-year goal of expanding the charity’s mission and community reach.

The latest report follows a Los Angeles Times article that said Frank and Jamie McCourt, now involved in a contentious divorce, had not paid federal income taxes since 2004 and paid his two sons $600,000, though one had another full-time job and the other was in grad school.

And, of course, The Times’ infamous story that the McCourts had hired a Russian healer in the Boston area to send positive energy to the Dodgers.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Howard Sunkin in 2007. Credit: Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (37)

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Just another example of rich people (a) getting richer and (b) embarrassing themselves.

The worst part about this is that the N.Y. Times scooped the hometown L.A. Times on this story, and even purchased a photo of Sunkin from the L.A. Times. Then the L.A. Times posts a web story nearly 24 hours after the N.Y. Times posted its piece. Is there ANY reason to subscribe to the L.A. Times?

You have to love the US tax code.
Another reason to scrap the entire Income Tax and replace it with a sales tax. NOT an additional tax, a replacement.

Amazing...absolutely amazing. Just one more reason, as if the expensive divorce thing wasn't enough, why the Dodgers can't afford to acquire an ace pitcher or two to help them win the division and possibly do well in the playoffs. Heck, there's one less guy available now anyway because the Mariners traded Cliff Lee to the Rangers.

so let me understand this. The Texas Rangers are in bankruptcy and are being operated by MLB and can get Cliff Lee as well as having the Ms kick in towards his salary. Meanwhile the Ds are being held up over a "contentious divorce." Really?

And still the lemmings come and fill that Stadium. Incredible.

The McCourt ownership is a stain on the legacy of our team and our city.

And you wonder why ticket prices for the Yankee games were at least 4 times the normal price. The McCourts need the money.

Every story about the McCourt's finances points to the same conclusion -- but for some reason the Times won't go there. Here it is: Frank is broke. He bought the team with borrowed money and uses the team as his family's personal piggybank.

Say it again: Frank is broke. Busted.

Greed. What part of non-profit do they not understand?


Why are we surprised at any nonsense from any high profile people these days.

I'll tune out once Vin Scully hangs it up.

With news like this, I am even happier that my house has decided to boycott the Dodgers this year. I love the team but hate the owners. I really would hate for this to be Vin's last year - he deserves to go out on a high note, not in the middle of the McCourt's mess.

The McCourt's are a disgrace to a big market like Los Angeles... Go buy a small market team if wanna play money ball.

Who the heck cares?

The Dodgers are a privately owned franchise and the McCourt's are free to pay anyone, any salary they wish! This is more disturbing than the salaries of the players? I think not.

The McCourt's are also free to pay their kid's a salary, even if the children have NOTHING to do with The Dodger's.

Obviously, the McCourt's felt this person was worth 400k/year, so that is what they paid him. It's nobody's business!

Don't listen to the mind games from New York. They don't want to see us in October so they will say anything. We all know the problems the team ownership has and the more it comes out in the press the more they hope it will affect the mental game of the boys in blue. Concentrate on the positive and give the team a break!

It's about time that the IRS seize control of the Dodgers...Six YEARS without paying taxes? Ridiculous.......

"You have to love the US tax code. Another reason to scrap the entire Income Tax and replace it with a sales tax. NOT an additional tax, a replacement." James, that is as regressive a tax policy as there is. Graduated income tax with no deductions, and all income (wages and interest, inheritance whatever) is treated the same, as income. The percent that a wealthy person spends on sales tax items is far less than the percent a person of modest means spends on sale tax items.

The L.A. Daily News, your old paper, Steve, ran this story today. Why didn't the L.A. Times? The Daily News knew and Dylan Hernandez didn't? C'mon. The Daily News doesn't even have a real beat writer for the Dodgers OR Angels. The Times is in bed with the McCourts. How else do you explain this? Don't tell me the Daily News goes to press earlier than The Times. What's next, tasteless and phony McCourt ads replacing those tasteless and phony Donald Sterling ads in The Times? much further will the McFails drag the Dodger franchise down the tube?!? Next we will read that they rented out Dodger Stadium during winter to the circus so that they can stable their pets there.

We've sat in back of this wig-wearing weasle for five years wondering where he came from. $400 k for a job as McCourt's valet? He has to be indicted. Who is the DA in this town, Cooley? This is tax fraud and McCourt knows it. I have said for five years that both the charities, while not frauds, were being manipulated. The idea that the McCourts would care that much about the Dream Foundation and ThnkCure and nothing about the team was impossible. Both charities should have their documents and tax records examined.

Where is the I.R.S.? They should be demanding back taxes for these scams and sham salaries to the kids. Where is the league? They should be protecting the integrity of the game.

Frank sell the team. Go back to Boston and take Jamie with you. These people are beyond despicable. Anyone going to Dodger Stadium is just lining the pockets for these two morons. They could care less about winning, only people showing up to leave their hard earned money.

Rangers really exposed the mockery of the Dodgers' mess today - bankrupt team lands the gem of the mid-season market.

It'll only get worse before it gets better.

I hope the future includes a judge ruling they or he or whoever owns the Dodgers must sell. It could be worse, but at this point, I'm choosing the devil I don't know compared to the devil(s) we do know named McCourt. Its not this news, but the whole sorry saga that has embarrassed my team.

But I'm not leaving my team. I figure I'll be a fan and pulling for them far longer than the McCourts will own them - no matter what happens in their divorce or otherwise. There is far more fabric and joy in true Dodgers than these idiots from Bah-stun. Scully, Lasorda, Koufax, may favorite since I was 9 years old Ron Cey, Campy, Jackie - naw, I ain't leaving the Dodgers. Like Jackie said, true blue.

The McCourts - this, too, shall pass. (Just hope its soon)

Where have you gone Peter O'malley, a Dodgers nation turns to you!!
It truly is a shame that a great organization has to be dragged thru the mud by people like this.

It's one thing when a government agency wastes the taxpayer money, but it's completely different when a private for profit enterprise does this kind of thing.

If you object to the ticket prices, don't go to the game. If you think they're wasting money don't watch them on TV. But if you do go to the game they can spend their money on whatever they want.

Gosh I wish we could deal with Government waste as easily.

james andrews wrote:

"You have to love the US tax code.
Another reason to scrap the entire Income Tax and replace it with a sales tax. NOT an additional tax, a replacement."

A sales tax is just another way to let the rich get away with making the middle class pay a bigger chunk of their income, than the rich pay. The Income Tax Code is a graduated tax, though during the time the Republicans controlled Congress, they were able to force changes to give big tax cuts to the rich and tax breaks to oil companies. That was especially true during the Bush administration.

The Income Tax Code will work better when there are more than enough Democrats in the Senate to overcome the Party of No. They just refused to cut the money going to the oil companies from the federal government, as per the Bush administration. The Republicans: the Party of Corporations.

Donald Sterling is no longer the reigning idiot among LA sport team owners.

So according to MissMarple's comment above this McCourt/Dodger mess is Bush's fault?
I'll have to remember to use that, too!

McCourt's a loser. That's why we ran him out of Boston. He tried to buy the Sox. Laughable. He's a joke, not a baseball man. He's made a mockery of the Dodgers.

Hey, MissMarple!
We are doing quite well over here because we figured out how to eliminate state income tax and replace it with a fair sales tax.
That might be one reason why so many of your California neighbors are moving here.
Recession? Heck, what recession? Just sayin'!
Meanwhile how is that over-the-top California income tax working out for you in your nearly bankrupt Democrat led California? Don't lie now.
It must be Bush's fault.

Corruption with a capital C. This story is buried in the L.A. Times, who are apparently beholden to the McCourt clan. If not for the NYTimes breaking this scandal, we may never have learned where all the Dodger "charity" dollars are actually going. The LA Times needs to step up to the plate.

Sell the team and leave LA please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what? It's a private company. They can do with the money as they please.

Hey Frank McCourt,
Are you getting the picture as to how your fan base (many of them now boycotting going to Dodger Stadium) feels about you as the owner of this beloved franchise? Also, I have made this point before in this forum but need to state it again. Why in the world did Bud Selig sign off giving his ok to the sale of the Dodgers to the McCourts back in 2004?

Yes they can do what they want with the money you donate but it needs to be within the law and with morals.

Dodgers Dream Foundation, a 501c(3) non-profit organization (Tax ID # 95-4633022)

In the best interests of MLB and the Dodgers, this team needs to be taken away from "cheap" Frank McCourt ! He wont get a pitcher , yet he squanders $600,000 on a so called,"Senior Vice President ", for public relations.
Outlandish and rediculous that MLB is letting this sham of an owner ruined a storied franchise like the Dodgers. This
"flim flam man" should be in prison over income tax evasion not ruining a baseball team !
Where is the IRS when we really need them?
How do I really feel?
This guy is POND SCUM !

this is absolutely disgusting on both mccourt and sunkin side. that is 25 cents of every dollar donated. so much for giving it to a good cause. i hope sunkin has to pay every last penny and more back. disgusting.


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