Baseball's contraction plan sparked another lawsuit
yesterday, with former minority partners of the Expos accusing commissioner Bud
Selig of mail fraud and wire fraud.
In a 45-page federal complaint filed in Miami under the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the 14 minority owners accused Selig
and former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria of conspiring for more than two years to
They asked that the Expos be placed in trust and said that if baseball
officials try to move or fold the team, they would seek an injunction.
"From the beginning of Mr. Loria's involvement with the Expos, he and his
co-conspirators engaged in a scheme that had as its object the destruction of
baseball in Montreal, so that Mr. Loria and his co-conspirators could justify
relocating the franchise to the United States," the complaint said.
They accused Loria and his staff of removing the Expos from local
television, subverting well-developed plans for a new baseball stadium in
downtown Montreal and purposefully alienating Expos sponsors and investors.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, called the suit "frivolous"
and "a shameless attempt to obtain through publicity what they know they are
not entitled to legally."