The lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times to recover more than $2 million in unpaid fees from the Orange County Register doesn't make Register owner Aaron Kushner look very professional or ethical. In addition to continually delaying payments and finally mooching on a contract to pay the Times to deliver the Register, Kushner allegedly kept the tips that Register readers included in their payments for the men and women who deliver the papers. OC Weekly editor Gustavo Arellano cackles his way through the lawsuit filing:
In emails attached to the court filing, Kushner's carefully crafted public persona as a cool-headed Stanford grad is exposed as a farce, and the the true Kush emerges: a man way over his head who's begging his debtors not to chop off his proverbial thumbs--in this case, the distribution routes for the Register that the Times had run since 2009. Too late!
Even worse, according to the Times? Kushner won't reimburse them for tips that Register subscribers give to their delivery men, tips that the Times paid out because they're decent. "In short," the complaint reads, "The Register is keeping for itself tip money that subscribers meant to be paid to the subscribers' newspaper carriers."…
The--pun intended--tipping point that finally led to the lawsuit came when new Times publisher Austin Beutner called Kushner for his money, and Kushner never returned his call. By then, the lawsuit claims, Kushner had already announced plans to transition to another carrier and pay them--but not the Times.