The tyrannically thin-skinned James Dolan, the Cablevision heir whose family has owned the Knicks and Rangers for two generations, is arguably the worst team owner in all of sports. It’s not just that he oversees perpetually losing seasons as the C.E.O. of Madison Square Garden Sports and Madison Square Garden Entertainment, although those have been absolutely miserable to endure. It’s how Dolan has handled personal affairs, like keeping The Daily News from press conferences because he didn’t like the way the paper covered a female executive’s lawsuit alleging a hostile workplace, or how he threw Knicks legend Charles Oakley out of the Garden over a grudge.
Still, nothing quite prepared me for reading the sworn affidavit filed on Nov. 2 by Barbara Hart, an attorney at Grant & Eisenhofer. The international firm is providing counsel for the City of Boca Raton Police and Firefighters’ Retirement System, which is currently involved in a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that MSG overpaid for the MSG cable network, and that the Dolan family received unique benefits from the acquisition to the detriment of other stockholders.
Hart said that she attempted to attend a concert at the Garden on Oct. 22, unaware that MSG had instituted a policy banning lawyers at firms currently suing the company. “While at MSG, I was identified as a banned G&E attorney via facial recognition software,” she stated in her affidavit. “MSG employees stopped me and asked for my ID. After I refused to give it to them, they correctly identified me as Barbara Hart.”