(Updates with lawyer’s comment in third paragraph.)
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers were ordered by a bankruptcy judge to return papers left behind when the team expelled a monitor installed by Major League Baseball.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross today told the club to turn over documents in the office used by Thomas Schieffer, who was forced out as the team’s monitor after it filed bankruptcy in June. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointed Schieffer in April to oversee the Dodgers’ finances and day-to-day operations.
Schieffer installed a separate computer-network server and phone lines at Dodger Stadium and brought in a lockable, fireproof filing cabinet so MLB papers would “at all times be kept away” from team owner Frank McCourt and Dodgers officials, MLB attorney Glenn Kurtz said during a hearing today.
The Dodgers copied all of the papers Schieffer hadn’t locked away and then asked MLB for the key to the cabinet, Dodgers’ attorney Sidney Levinson said in the hearing, which was held by telephone. MLB refused and demanded that the documents be turned over, claiming they included confidential information.
Gross, in Wilmington, Delaware, ordered the Dodgers to turn over the papers. Team officials haven’t reviewed any of the materials, Levinson said.
“Today’s hearing is an example in spades of MLB and the commissioner using the Bankruptcy Court to grandstand about Frank McCourt, rather than working constructively to reorganize the Dodgers,” the team said in an e-mailed statement.
Selig has accused McCourt of mismanaging the team. The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy after Selig refused to approve a new television contract McCourt negotiated with the current broadcaster, News Corp.’s Fox Sports.
Gross this month will hold a hearing to decide whether to grant Selig’s request to force McCourt to sell the team or to let McCourt try again to sell TV broadcast rights. Gross has said he expects both Selig and McCourt to testify at the hearing, scheduled to start Oct. 31.
The bankruptcy case is In re Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, 11- 12010, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
--Editors: Stephen Farr, Glenn Holdcraft
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