Howard Sunkin to supervise Dodgers' community relations
Howard Sunkin, the Dodgers executive whose salary from the team's charitable foundation has drawn scrutiny from the California attorney general, has been assigned to oversee the team's community relations.
Of the nearly $1.6 million spent by the Dodgers Dream Foundation in 2007, more than $400,000 was paid to Sunkin, according to federal tax records. In August, the attorney general's office asked the Dodgers to explain the significant allocation of non-profit funds for executive compensation.
Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said the team has "been cooperating fully" with the investigation. Neither he nor Jim Finefrock, a spokesman for the attorney general, would comment on the status of the investigation.
Sunkin worked as the Dodgers' senior vice president for public affairs from 2004-07. He then moved to the McCourt Group, where he has emerged as the right-hand man to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt.
Sunkin has worked with city leaders and neighborhood groups on planned renovations to Dodger Stadium and proposals for an NFL stadium and other development in the stadium parking lots. With McCourt putting major construction on hold because of what he says is a lack of financing, Dodgers staffers were told this week that Sunkin again would oversee community relations.
Rawitch said in a statement that Sunkin would continue to work on civic affairs while "taking a more active role in managing the relationships the team has with more than 5,000 non-profit organizations throughout the city."