The sale of the L.A. Clippers to billionaire Steve Ballmer for $2 billion is a done deal…unless it’s not. Shelly Sterling and the former Microsoft executive insist they’ve reached an agreement., but so far there’s no word from Donald. The reported $2 billion price tag is nearly four times higher than the previous record sale of an NBA franchise. The Dodgers – at $2.1 billion – are the only North American sports franchise that sold for more. In a new twist to the Clippers saga, Shelly Sterling says she does not need the approval of her husband and co-owner, who’s racially offensive remarks prompted the NBA to lead a drive to force the couple out of the league. ESPN reports that Shelly Sterling says Donald was recently declared “mentally incapacitated” by health experts, and is not capable of making decisions about a sale. But Donald Sterling’s lawyer continues to muddy the waters. He says his client would have to sign off on any deal.
Runaway production usually refers to the loss of movies and TV shows, not entire companies. But that’s the story now. Sony Pictures says it’s moving its Imageworks visual effects division to Vancouver, Canada to take advantage of tax breaks that aren’t available in California. Sony already has a satellite studio in Vancouver and moved about three dozen workers there earlier this year. Imageworks employs about 270 people in Culver City. It will keep a small staff there but move most of its workers north. More than a half-a-dozen California visual effects companies have shut down or filed for bankruptcy in the past few years amid a rise in global competition.
Outside spending on California’s upcoming primary election is averaging about $250,000 a day in May, and now exceeds $23 million. The online publication Capitol Weekly says the largest chuck of independent cash has come from the California Teachers Association in the race for Superintendent of Public Education. The teacher’s group has spent more than $2 million dollars to support the incumbent, Tom Torlakson. Challenger Marshall Tuck is also benefiting from outside money. Education reform groups have spent nearly $1.5 million to back his candidacy.
A San Francisco Giants fan who suffered permanent brain injuries when he was beaten up in a Dodger Stadium parking lot could run up medical bills of $50 million in his lifetime, according to his attorney. During opening statements in Bryan Stow’s civil lawsuit against the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt, his lawyer told jurors the baseball team didn’t have enough security on Opening Day in 2011. The defense countered that there was more security than at any other Dodgers Opening Day. They say responsibility for Stow’s injuries lies with the two men who pleaded guilty to the attack – and with Stow himself for being drunk and exchanging taunts with the assailants. Stow observed jury selection from his wheelchair this week. But his lawyer says attending the trial would be too much for the former paramedic.
The California Supreme Court says police must disclose the names of officers involved in shootings – unless there is specific evidence that doing so would put those officer’s lives at risk. A number of California police agencies have stopped giving the news media and the public the names of officers who fire their weapons on duty. The decision by the state high court means those agencies will have to reverse course. The case stemmed from an effort by the L.A. Times to obtain the names of Long Beach Police officers who were involved in a deadly shooting in 2010. In that case, a man was killed after officers mistook a garden hose he was holding for a gun.