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The Looting of The Sun-Times

By vouchey in News on Sep 1, 2004 5:29PM

cst_logo_300.gifA lot of people like to bash the Sun-Times. It's the poorer little sister of the two big city papers, and it seems that the stewardship of former owner David Black and Hollinger International didn't help very much. A report filed yesterday with U.S. District Court and authored by former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden accuses Black and his associates of "self-righteous and aggressive looting" of the Sun Times and its other holdings.

Hollinger Inc., the holding company for The Sun Times, as well as other papers such as the London Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post was positioned by Black as a important global media property, and had some big names on its Board of Directors to boot. Some of the biggest names include Richard Perle, former Chair of the Defense Policy Board, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Illinois Governor James Thompson.

Most of the big names get off pretty easy, but Thompson was a member of the Board of Directors' Audit Committee, which was supposed to be protecting the company against actions like Black's. The report doesn't pull any punches. From the Sun Times today:

Calling the audit committee "ineffective and careless over a prolonged period of time," the report depicts Thompson as accepting everything Black and Radler said at face value. "He failed to apply the critical part of former President Reagan's famous dictum to 'Trust, but verify,'" the report says.

Looks like we've got our very own version of Enron here in Chicago. Whoopee!