December 03, 2007

Pete Rose and Mark McGwire are apparently too disreputable to earn election to the Baseball Hall of Fame, but the Veterans Committee today opened the doors to this guy. From 1990:

Bowie K. Kuhn, the former Commissioner of Baseball, is said to be somewhere in Florida, but not for spring training. In fact, a New York bank and several of his former law partners charged that he was hiding from the bankruptcy of the defunct law firm that bore his name.

Mr. Kuhn was a partner in the firm Myerson & Kuhn, which filed for bankruptcy in late December. As such, he is liable for $3.1 million in loans that Marine Midland Bank made to the firm in 1988 and 1989, along with other firm debts.

In court papers filed Tuesday, Marine Midland charged that in the last two weeks Mr. Kuhn, seeking to place his property out of the bank's reach, sold his home in Ridgewood, N.J., and bought another one in Marsh Landing, Fla. Florida law does not allow residences there to be seized in bankruptcy proceedings.

The former Commissioner and Harvey D. Myerson, a New York corporate lawyer, formed Myerson & Kuhn to great fanfare in 1988. But after a dispute with Shearson Lehman Hutton and internal disagreements among the partners, the firm collapsed late last year, and Mr. Kuhn hastily headed South.

He has remained unreachable ever since. At various times, he was said to have been in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and, most recently, Sanibel Island. ''I've been unable to get in touch with him since December,'' Mr. Myerson said yesterday. ''I can't get a telephone number for him, or address, or anything.''

Since then, "pulling a Kuhn" (ie., putting your assets into the purchase of a home in a state with an unlimited homestead exemption) has become a nifty way for the super-rich to avoid their judgment creditors; OJ and Kenneth Lay, among others, also took advantage of the loophole. Marvin Miller, who actually changed not only baseball, but sports in every country on the planet for the better by his aggressive advocacy on behalf of the Players Association, was once again shut out.

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