Friday, March 21, 2008

Is the owner of the LA Clippers falsely claiming to be building a huge homeless shelter?

Weird story:

When Sterling first plugged the opening of a homeless center in, April 2006, homeless-services operators, politicians and downtown business owners were stunned and intrigued.

“When it first came out, we all thought, ‘How did we not hear about it?’ ” says downtown real estate developer Tom Gilmore, who served for six years on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Phone calls were made to Sterling World Plaza, at 9441 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Politicians in City Hall who would have to approve any such project, as well as pols on the powerful Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who oversee the region’s key poverty programs — although they would have no direct say — waited for more-detailed plans. And the media-ducking Donald T. Sterling even made a personal appearance on Skid Row. Buzz was in the air. One of Los Angeles’ most prominent real estate holders, who, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, became a billionaire by offering luxury housing in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Westwood, appeared to be recalibrating his business expertise to achieve some kind of larger good.

These days, though, Sterling’s vow to help the homeless is looking more like a troubling, ego-inflating gimmick dreamed up by a very rich man with a peculiar public-relations sense: Witness his regular advertisements proclaiming another “humanitarian of the year” award — for himself. From homeless-services operators to local politicians, no one has received specifics for the proposed Sterling Homeless Center. They aren’t the least bit convinced that the project exists.

Read the whole thing.

Or for lighter fare, read his deposition where he matter of factly discusses his relationship with a prostitute.