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Not giving a charitable review to the McCourts' handling of Dodgers' charities

June 23, 2011 | 12:26 pm

Frank1 When you’re deep in the muck of your own creation, is it possible you think you’re swimming through pristine waters?

Or is it just too difficult to see much of anything clearly, particularly your own malfeasance?

The Times’ Jim Peltz and Bill Shaikin reported Thursday that Frank McCourt repaid more than $100,000 to a team charity, the Dodgers Dream Foundation, after the state attorney general found the funds were used primarily for the benefit of Jamie McCourt.

This comes after the state investigation spurred Frank McCourt to repay the charity $239,000 to cover an excessive payment to Howard Sunkin, the Dream Foundation’s former executive and now the Dodgers' vice president of public affairs.

Peltz and Shaikin also reported that the team’s other charity, ThinkCure, had assets of $1.7 million at the end of 2009 but paid its former president, Janet Clayton, $465,655 in combined compensation in 2008 and 2009.

Clayton, a former Times senior editor, wrote off this excessive payment because it came from $1 million in seed money to the charity provided by the McCourts. Apparently she thinks money donated by the McCourts is different from that donated by you and me.

Don’t these people ever take a long shower? Is the deceit so rampant, so commonplace as to be unrecognizable?

Why would anyone donate a single cent to any Dodgers charity? It’s not that they have not mixed in good work, but too much of it is directed at self-promotion -- Hey, look what I did! -- and burdened by the overriding slime of its business operations.

There are zillions of good charities out there worthy of your donations, organizations less concerned with image and making a buck on the side.

Frank and Jamie McCourt pulled over $100 million -- that we know of -- from the Dodgers for their personal use. Yet they would be so stupid as to finagle another $100,000 from a team charity?

It boggles the mind, though it is one in a continuing series.


Dodgers owner Frank McCourt repaid funds to a team charity

Fox reportedly won't back Frank McCourt in a bankruptcy scenario

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Frank and Jamie McCourt in 2006. Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times