SBD/Issue 34/Franchises

Jamie McCourt Lines Up Bid To Buy Dodgers, But Frank Will Not Sell

McCourt's Attorney Says She Will
Emerge As More Qualified Exec
Jamie McCourt's attorney yesterday said that the former Dodgers CEO has "lined up financing for a possible bid to buy" the team from her estranged husband Frank, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. But Frank McCourt's attorney, Marshall Grossman, said that Frank has "no intention of selling the Dodgers, to her or anyone else." Grossman: "Congratulations to her for being a prospective buyer. There is no seller. Perhaps she could explore some other sport." The court overseeing the couple's divorce proceedings scheduled a November 5 hearing on Jamie's bid for "immediate reinstatement" to her role as Dodgers CEO, from which Frank fired her last week. The court also scheduled a December 1 hearing to "discuss spousal support and other issues pending trial." Dodgers President & COO Dennis Mannion in court documents filed yesterday on behalf of Frank alleges that Jamie "did not show up for work more than half the time, put her own image ahead of the team's and 'exhibited an almost disdainful disregard for the fundamental requirements of her job and workplace etiquette.'" Mannion denied Jamie's claims that he had "instructed team employees not to work with her and excluded her from management discussions and decisions." He contends that he would have "welcomed her involvement had she shown up for work more often." Mannion further alleges Jamie focused on work "designed to cultivate and promote her image as the highest ranking woman" in MLB, even when those activities "were not financially successful ventures and did not fit the strategic needs of the organization." Jamie's attorney Bert Fields denied those charges, and said that the court proceeding would show Jamie "to be a more qualified executive" than Frank. Fields: "When people find out what she did as opposed to what he did, they're all going to want her to run the team." Meanwhile, Frank in his filing yesterday claimed that he fired Jamie "in part for having an affair with her driver, who was employed by the Dodgers." Frank's attorneys allege that Jamie and her driver, Jeff Fuller, "spent 2 1/2 weeks in France this summer and billed the team for the trip." Fields admitted that Jamie is "in a romantic relationship" with Fuller, but claims that it began "after she separated from Frank" on July 6. Fields also said that Jamie "did not bill the team for the trip" (L.A. TIMES, 10/29).

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE: In Sacramento, Bill Bradley notes the Padres "had to be liquidated as part of the divorce settlement" between Owners John and Becky Moores, and that sale "made a bad economic situation worse for the Padres." The McCourts' "salacious tale of Hollywood gossip is not going to end soon," and it "may cause the Dodgers to be put up for sale, too" (SACRAMENTO BEE, 10/29).

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