Report: Billy Hunter had inappropriate family-business ties
According to Yahoo! Sports, NBA Players Association executive director Billy Hunter tried to secure a $7-$9 million investment from the union, for the financial institution Interstate Net Bank, where Billy's son Todd, held a seat on the board of directors. The U.S. government had already ordered Interstate Net Bank to "cease and decist" before Billy tried unsuccesfully to invest in them.
Todd Hunter is also the vice president at Prim Capital, a consulting company which is contracted by the NBA Players Association, and has received over $2.5 million from the NBPA since 2006.
Billy Hunter's business ties within his family didn't end there. The union used Howrey LPP as their legal counsel starting in September of 2007. Howrey hired Billy Hunter's daughter, Alexis, in September of 2007. When Howrey folded in March 2011, Alexis moved to the New York based law firm, Steptoe and Johnson. The NBA players association hired Steptoe and Johnson within the same time frame that Alexis began work there.
Steptoe and Johnson refused comment, when asked whether Alexis Hunter's relationship with Billy had anything to do with her being hired.
Two other members of Billy Hunter's family hold or have held jobs within the NBA players association. His daughter Robyn and his daughter-in-law Megan Ibana have senior positions in the PA. Robyn earned over $85,000 from July 2010 to June 2011. Megan Ibana was paid over $180,000 during that same time period. That gave her the 6th highest average salary among union employees in the last 5 years.
Billy Hunter's salary makes up 46% of union disbursements. By comparison, NFL union leaders account for 18% of union disbursements, while MLB union leaders take up 10%. Hunter also claimed in 2009, that he was owed several years of missed vacation. He demanded $1 million in compensation, which he was eventually granted.
Former players association treasurer Pat Garrity was the first person who questioned Billy Hunter's business practices. Garrity called out Hunter at a meeting in 2009 during the All-Star break. "Why didn't you disclose any of this?" Garrity asked Hunter several times according to the report. The meeting ended with Hunter's right-hand man Gary Hall telling Garrity that he was no longer welcome on the executive committee and if he didn't leave promptly, security would remove him from the building.
Union president Derek Fisher was present at the 2009 meeting with Garrity, and he did not invoke his presidential power to allow Garrity to speak. Fisher, who is currently pushing an investigation against Hunter, reportedly felt it wasn't the right time to begin the investigation.
When Fisher called for an independent investigation into Hunter's business practices weeks ago, Hunter called for Fisher's resignation. Fisher has refused to resign, and has said he will continue to fight this battle.