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Lawsuit against O.C. charity founder settled

March 01, 2007|Roy Rivenburg | Times Staff Writer

A lawsuit that contended that charity founder Michael Kerr failed to repay a $6,000 salary advance last year has been settled out of court, both parties said Wednesday.

The terms weren't revealed, but Kerr "has financial obligations that he will need to live up to as part of the settlement," said Barry Saywitz, president of a Newport Beach commercial real estate firm that sued Kerr in Small Claims Court last month.

Kerr's wife, Jean, said her husband was pleased with the outcome. "It was a technical dispute, and he maintains, then and now, that he did nothing wrong, and the settlement is consistent with that," she said via e-mail.

Kerr, whose Laguna Niguel-based Snowball Express organized a successful all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland for the families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been stung by a series of media reports about his background.

The revelations include a falsified job resume; an outstanding arrest warrant for failure to pay nearly $50,000 in child support; a $78,000 judgment for unrepaid salary advances from another employer; and a history of drug and alcohol addiction.

Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown's office is looking into the finances of Kerr's foundation, but the IRS recently granted tentative approval to Kerr's request for tax-exempt status.

roy.rivenburg@latimes.com

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