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Major League Baseball rescinds appointment of assistant to Dodgers trustee

Former Padres president Dick Freeman was to assist Tom Schieffer, but an attorney for Frank McCourt points out that Freeman advised Jamie McCourt last year during her divorce from Frank.

May 10, 2011|By Bill Shaikin
  • Jamie McCourt received advice on her divorce from former San Diego Padres president Dick Freeman, whose brief appointment as an assistant to Dodgers trustee Tom Schieffer was rescinded by Major League Baseball on Tuesday.
Jamie McCourt received advice on her divorce from former San Diego Padres… (Don Bartletti / Los Angeles…)

During a Monday morning radio appearance in New York, Commissioner Bud Selig announced that he had appointed former San Diego Padres president Dick Freeman as an assistant to Dodgers trustee Tom Schieffer. Within hours, Major League Baseball had rescinded the appointment, citing a "potential conflict."

The conflict: Freeman advised Jamie McCourt last year, during her divorce proceedings against Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, according to a letter sent Tuesday from Robert Sacks, an attorney for Frank McCourt, to Brad Ruskin, an attorney representing MLB.

"Unfortunately, this latest episode reinforces the concern that Mr. McCourt is being subjected to discriminatory and unfair treatment," Sacks wrote, "through a process designed to reach a predetermined outcome, without appropriate diligence, independence or care."

In the letter, Sacks said that Freeman met with Dodgers personnel on Monday. Those staff members had been told Freeman already had reviewed confidential Dodgers financial information, Sacks wrote.

Jamie McCourt has asked the judge overseeing the divorce case to order Frank McCourt to provide the Dodgers' most recent financial data. That request is pending.

MLB denied that Freeman had access to any of the Dodgers' confidential financial information.

"Once the potential conflict was brought to our attention by Mr. Freeman, we immediately determined not to proceed with his appointment," MLB Executive Vice President Rob Manfred said in a statement.

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