July 9, 2010
Two Sports-Related Charities - Stories of Excessive Executive Compensation and Mismanagement of Assets
Los Angeles: As reported in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Dodgers paid one of their senior executives more than $400,000 in compensation from the team's charity, Dodgers Dream Foundation, in 2007. The compensation accounted for one-fourth of the foundation's approximately $1.6 million budget that year. The team's senior vice president for public affairs received the compensation for what the charity's records describe as a full-time job at the Foundation, whose publicly-supported mission is to serve the educational and athletic needs of children. While receiving compensation from the Foundation, the senior VP also performed responsibilities for the team, including acting as a chief advisor to the team owner as well as the Dodgers’ chief negotiator with politicians and businesses. He was paid an additional undisclosed salary for his work outside the Foundation. The Times opined that the senior VP's compensation from the Foundation was more commensurate with that of an executive running a $100 million charitable organization.
Chicago: As reported in the Chicago Tribune, despite assurances made over four weeks ago, former Chicago Bear Chris Zorich has still not located the financial records delineating what happened to approximatley $864,000 once held by his presently inactive charity, The Christopher Zorich Foundation. In a previous article published in June, the Tribune reported that the Foundation was in "disarray," with Zorich unaware of the existence of the assets listed on the Foundation's 2002 tax return, reportedly the last one filed with the IRS. Apparently, the IRS filed a $10,000 lien in April against the Foundation. The Illinois Attorney General revoked the charity's registration in 2004, rendering the Foundation ineligible to solicit, receive or retain funds in Illinois. In a June 8 interview with the Tribune, Zorich reported that the charity ceased operations in 2008, not having accepted donations since 2005.
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