Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lawsuit Says Scaife Funds Drained in Effort to Kill Post-Gazette

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Lawsuit Says Scaife Funds Drained in Effort to Kill Post-Gazette

Article excerpt

Attorneys representing the children of the late Richard Mellon Scaife claimed today that a trust fund drained to support the Tribune-Review newspapers wasn't properly spent on the father's welfare, but rather on a vain, emotion-fueled effort to put his competition out of business.

Mr. Scaife's "vehement dislike for the owners of the Post- Gazette caused him to spend enormous sums to fulfill his intention to put the Post-Gazette out of business," wrote attorneys for the daughter, Jennie Scaife, in one of a series of filings in Allegheny County Orphans Court today.

Her attorneys warned that they expect to seek "a reclaiming of hundreds of millions of dollars ... distributed to Richard Mellon Scaife for purposes that have nothing to do with the purpose of the 1935 trust - his 'welfare.'"

Ms. Scaife is represented by attorneys William Pietragallo and Peter Wolff, of the firm Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti. Mr. Pietragallo got insight into Richard Mellon Scaife while representing his second wife - Margaret Ritchie Battle - in their divorce. Mr. Scaife's son and daughter are the children of his first wife, Frances Gilmore Scaife.

Attorneys for the son, David Scaife, today took aim at two men who served the late billionaire publisher and his interests, characterizing them as parties to improper disclosures motivated by "animosity" and other such emotions.

H. Yale Gutnick, chairman of the board of directors of the Tribune-Review newspaper, was also a trustee to the fund created to benefit the publisher and, potentially, his son and daughter following his death.

Mr. Gutnick's "animosity toward and disdain of [David Scaife] and his sister is palpable," wrote the son's attorneys, in a response to prior court motions.

They wrote that Mr. Gutnick and his attorney, E. J. Strassburger, should not have disclosed in a court filing last month that the son and daughter receive around $1 million a month from a trust unrelated to the litigation. …

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