National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter’s family and their businesses have been paid almost $4.8 million by the union since 2001, according to public records.
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News of the expenditures comes amid a long-running feud between the NBPA and union president Derek Fisher, who was asked to resign last week after he requested a review of the union’s business practices.
According to US Labor Department filings, obtained by Bloomberg, Hunter’s daughter and daughter-in-law both work for the NBPA, while another daughter works as a special counsel at a law firm used by the union.
Hunter’s son, meanwhile, is a principal at a financial planning firm that was paid more than $45,000 per month last fiscal year to run the union’s financial awareness program.
Former baseball union leader Marvin Miller told Bloomberg he did not believe the payments were illegal, but said, "It’s not something I would do."
Fisher initially received the backing of the NBPA executive committee to get an independent examiner to audit Hunter’s handling of the union’s financial affairs. But the same eight-member committee later switched allegiance to Hunter, who said the move for a review was "unnecessary" following a recent independent audit.
The board then voted unanimously to seek Fisher’s resignation, which it said was based "on numerous instances over the past six months where Fisher engaged in conduct detrimental to the union."
Fisher, who has more than two years left of his presidency, said Friday he was "extremely disappointed" by the committee’s decision, adding, "their need to protect the NBPA management and their own best interests instead of protecting the players we were elected to serve is unfortunate."
The veteran Thunder guard called on his colleagues to throw their weight behind his push for an audit of the union’s finances.