SBD/October 1, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Labor Department Examines Practices Of NBPA Amid Allegations Of Nepotism

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Hunter is the longest-tenured current union head with 16 years at the NBPA
NBPA documents filed Friday with the U.S. Labor Department show that Exec Dir Billy Hunter was “paid $3 million from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, a $600,000 -- or 25% -- raise over the previous year,” according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. The finances and spending practices of the NBPA “have been under scrutiny since at least April” when several news outlets “looked at the union's payroll, which included Hunter's daughter Robyn Hunter; his daughter-in-law Megan Inaba; union payments to Prim Capital, a financial services company where Hunter's son is partner; and a law firm, Steptoe & Johnson, which employs another of Hunter's daughters, Alexis Hunter.” Billy Hunter, the “longest current tenured union chief at 16 years, helped negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA in late November, but the 149-day lockout resulted in the cancellation of the original preseason and a shortened 66-game season.” The NBPA's recent labor filing revealed that Robyn Hunter, the NBPA's Dir of Player Benefits & Concierge Services, "earned $89,695, up from $82,954 in the previous year's filing.” Inaba is NBPA Dir of Special Events & Sponsorships, and she "made $167,100, a decrease of more than $6,000 compared to the previous year's filing.” The NBPA paid Prim Capital $594,900 from July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012, "up from $576,824 in the previous year's filing.” The union paid $1.367M to Steptoe & Johnson for legal fees (USATODAY.com, 9/29).

FISHER HAS NO INTENT TO RESIGN: CBSSPORTS.com’s Ken Berger noted NBPA President Derek Fisher raised questions about allegations of Hunter's nepotism and “other issues after the lockout ended, but was rebuffed by the rest of the executive committee and asked to resign.” But sources said that Fisher “refused, and has no intention of stepping down with two years left on his term.” Still, a source said that the issues being examined by the law firm conducting the business review “go beyond Hunter's rift with Fisher and the charges of nepotism.” The source added that Hunter's “salary, and the structure of the union constitution and bylaws that resulted in its approval, are among the other issues being examined” (CBSSPORTS.com, 9/29).
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