Examiner sees signs of misconduct in Tribune deal

July 27, 2010 6:44:25 AM PDT
An independent examiner says he uncovered evidence of misconduct during the financing of a 2007 buyout that drove Tribune Co. into bankruptcy court.

Kenneth Klee made the assertion in documents filed late Monday in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

After a two-month investigation ordered by a bankruptcy judge, Klee said it was "somewhat likely" a court would conclude some fraudulent behavior occurred in the final stages of real estate mogul Sam Zell's buyout of Tribune. The company owns 20 TV stations and newspapers that include the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times.

Klee's findings could complicate Tribune's efforts to win court approval of its reorganization plan after nearly 20 months in bankruptcy protection.