Luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe’s timepieces are highly coveted; frequently spotted on the arms of celebrities and power players (like Scott Disick), these watches retail for tens of thousands of dollars. That’s why when National Basketball Association players union executive director Billy Hunter started gifting $22,000 Patek Philippe timepieces, questions started swirling about his ethics.
In April 2012, an investigation into allegations of Hunter’s nepotism, conflicts of interest and his potential misuse of union funds was launched. A resulting report by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP concluded that Hunter has spent nearly $100,000 in union funds purchasing luxury gifts for members of the executive committee that set the association’s policies, including the Patek Philippe watch and Louis Vuitton bags. Bloomberg News reports that Hunter gave the watch in question to an executive after saying that if a player lockout occurred, he might never get his gift.
The future of Hunter’s position with the union, a $3 million-job which he has held since 1996, remains to be seen. ESPN reports that at a meeting set for this coming Saturday, February 16, Hunter’s position will be put to a vote, wherein he’ll need the support of two-thirds of the 30 team representatives to keep his job.