Lots of news today. Let’s get right to it…
:: The New York Times reports that “Grandpa Joe” Paterno “transferred full ownership of his house to his wife, Sue, for $1 in July, less than four months before a sexual abuse scandal engulfed his Penn State football program and the university.”
Hmmm. Now, why would Pa-Pa want to put into his wife’s name the house that they had jointly owned since 1969?
The Times quoted Wick Sollers, a lawyer for Pa-Pa, as saying that the Paternos had been engaged in a “multi-year estate planning program” and that the transfer was “simply one element of that plan.”
The Times also interviewed Lawrence A. Frolik, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh who specializes in elder law.
“I can’t see any tax advantages,” The Times quoted Frolik as saying. “…It sounds like an attempt to avoid personal liability in having assets in his wife’s name.”
Looks like Grandpa Joe did what any guy would do if he’s expecting a run on his bank account — disperse the assets.
:: Closer to home, The Star reports that Bishop Robert Finn slipped the criminal noose in Clay County and has agreed to enter into a diversion program with the Clay County prosecutor for covering up the Shawn Ratigan child-porn case for at least five months.
The agreement calls for Finn “to meet face to face” with Clay County Prosecutor Daniel L. White or his successor every month for the next five years “to discuss any allegations of child sex abuse levied against clergy or diocesan staff within the diocese’s Clay county facilities.”
That would include churches, schools, gyms, among other buildings.
Don’t you just love it that the mighty bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph is going to have to report to the prosecutor like a wayward kid would report to the principal? The bishop, who has dozens of many minions at his disposal at diocesan headquarters, 20 W. Ninth St., trucking up to Liberty once a month, with his big hat in his hand? SWEEEET!
I fully expect Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker to follow suit and put Finn in a separate diversion program. That means he’d have to grab his mitre and staff and head to the Jackson County Courthouse once a month, too.
Finn couldn’t have screwed things up any more than he did with the Ratigan case, but I bet he’s going to be a model enforcer from now on…Of course, he’s still a disgrace and would leave office if he really cared about the institution and people he’s supposed to be serving.
:: The Star also reports that Local 42 of the International Association of Fire Fighters lost its battle to get full, retroactive, city pension benefits for about 300 ambulance workers who formerly worked for MAST. (MAST received city funds but was not directly under its jurisdiction.)
An arbitrator ruled that the city would not have to provide pensions that had been estimated to cost $30 million over 10 years. In June, the City Council voted to give the employees supplemental pensions estimated to cost $6 million to $10 million over 20 years. So, if the ruling holds, taxpayers should be off the hook for at least $20 million.
It’s not often that Local 42 and its president, Louie Wright, don’t get what they want. But just about any time they don’t, it means Kansas Citians should celebrate because tax money is being saved.
For his part, Louie told The Star’s Lynn Horsley that he was “extremely disappointed.” Naturally, a lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court is a possibility.
With Louie and Local 42, it’s never over until all remedies have been exhausted.
:: Now here’s something unusual. Louisville football Coach Charlie Strong said that the Cardinals lost to Pittsburgh last Saturday because the players were “more focused on a video game than they were on Pittsburgh.”
A new video game — “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” — was released recently, and Strong said the players got preoccupied with the game, instead of the game.
The things coaches have to deal with these days….