Nancy Pelosi’s Husband Stiffs NFL Legends

Paul Pelosi ignores $1 million arbitration ruling

Dennis Green, as Sacramento Mountain Lions head coach / AP

BY: Bill McMorris
August 12, 2014 5:00 am

Mr. Nancy Pelosi is ignoring a California arbitrator’s order to pay former NFL coach Dennis Green nearly $1 million for coaching his defunct football team.

In February, an arbitrator ordered multi-millionaire Paul Pelosi, husband of the House Democratic leader, and his business partner, William Hambrecht, to pay former NFL coach Dennis Green $990,000 for his work in the United Football League (UFL). Neither Pelosi, nor Hambrecht have paid Green, though it has now been six months since the decision.

“Pelosi is in a defiant position now. He has lost the arbitration but now still thinks he cannot be made to pay,” Green said in an email.

Green, former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals, inked a $1.5 million deal to lead Pelosi’s Sacramento Mountain Lions in the upstart league in 2009.

Pelosi failed to pay Green’s bi-weekly $62,500 paycheck in full throughout his tenure in the league. The San Francisco real estate developer’s paychecks to Green fell far below that threshold, according to Green’s 2012 lawsuit. At times, Pelosi paid Green as little as $5,000 per pay period.

Hambrecht, a multimillionaire investor, founded the UFL in 2007. Pelosi purchased a $1 million stake in the league and took over ownership of the Sacramento Mountain Lions for $12 million in 2009, at which point he hired Green.

Pelosi’s ownership stake cost the family big time. Mr. and Mrs. Pelosi lost between $2 to $10 million on the league in 2011, according to the minority leader’s 2012 financial disclosures. Despite the losses, Pelosi continued to invest in the UFL. He injected between $2.75 and $6.6 million into the league—sometimes selling large amounts of stock just days before issuing new investments—even as he refused to pay Green.

Neither Paul, nor Nancy Pelosi returned requests for comment.

The multi-million dollar losses represent a drop in the bucket for the Pelosis. Nancy Pelosi was the fifteenth-richest member of congress in 2013 with a net worth of nearly $25 million, according to Congressional Quarterly.
Harmeet K. Dhillon, an attorney at Dhillon & Smith LLP and California Republican Party Vice Chairman, has added her legal muscle to the fight.

Dhillon slammed Pelosi and Hambrecht for “employing a series of delay tactics to avoid their responsibilities” to Green and others connected to the league.

“It is unfortunate that wealthy, public figures continue to believe their elite status allows them to ignore the California Labor Code and basic contract principles,” Dhillon said in a release. “Pelosi and Hambrecht’s refusal to pay wages they promised their employees is repugnant, and even after a judgment in Green’s favor, they continue to stiff Mr. Green.”

Green is not the only one who has suffered from the UFL’s stinginess.

San Diego Chargers coaching legend Marty Schottenheimer filed suit against Pelosi and Hambrecht in 2012 for failing to make good on his lucrative contract. Nearly 80 players, who earned as little as $25,000 per season to suit up for the UFL, sued Hambrecht in 2013 for failing to honor their contracts.

Pelosi had made personal guarantees that he and his business partners would make good on their contracts when the financial solvency of the league was called into question.

“Players have not been paid yet, but the reality is that they will be paid; we guarantee they will be paid in full and the coaches will be paid in full and we’re going to do that very soon,” Pelosi told CBS Sports during halftime of an October 2012 game.

“We’re very sympathetic and understanding of their plight.”

The league folded less than a month later.

The Pelosi family has a history of shady financial dealings.

Peter Schweizer, author of the 2011 bestseller Throw Them All Out, revealed that Pelosi invested between $1 million and $5 million in Visa as she blocked major reforms to the credit card industry. The Washington Free Beacon reported in July that the Securities and Exchange Commission charged a company cofounded by Paul Pelosi Jr. with securities fraud.