The May 8 San Gabriel Valley section contained an article authored by Alan Maltun and Denise Hamilton entitled "Court OKs Concord Sale to Pay Creditors." That article involved the sale of the Concord Building, which is an asset of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy estate pending before the Honorable William Lazarow, bankruptcy judge. However, that article also discusses other bankruptcy proceedings, including that of United Community Church. This office is counsel to the church in that case.
My client takes exception to the conclusion in your article that United Community Church is "affiliated" with the Rev. William McBirnie. Though Dr. McBirnie has been the chief minister of the church for the last 25 years, he has never held any proprietary interest or control over church affairs, other than those specifically delegated to him in his capacity as chief minister. It is this presumed affiliation which has unfortunately led to my client's Chapter 11 petition.
United Community Church has always maintained a public image of impeccable integrity. We intend to preserve that reputation and are fearful that The Times' conclusions may foster perspectives to the contrary.
ALAN G. TIPPIE
Baumann & Rothman