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Lynn Swann Sues Over Autograph Fest

May 26, 1999 GMT

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ For signing his name 2,477 times, former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann says he is owed $90,000.

Swann filed a lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court claiming Michael Mahone, president of Hot Corner Sports in Putnam Valley, N.Y., breached a contract and defrauded him at a promotional event.

Billed as the ``Team of the Decade Reunion Weekend,″ the event was held April 30 to May 2 at Pittsburgh’s Lawrence Convention Center and featured Swann and 50 former Super Bowl teammates.

Swann said his contract stipulated he would get $100,000 in exchange for 3,000 autographs at public and private signings, as well as appearances at a charity dinner and other events.

The lawsuit claims Mahone or someone at his company stopped payment on Swann’s check and sold some or all of the items Swann autographed, such as posters, footballs and football helmets.

Swann, who lives in Pittsburgh, is a football commentator for ABC.

In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Tuesday, Swann said only former players Terry Bradshaw and Joe Greene were paid in full.

Mahone said Tuesday that other players also were paid, but he declined to name them. He also said Swann signed 300 fewer autographs than he is claiming.

``I’m sitting here with blank Lynn Swann photos and jerseys,″ Mahone said. ``He says he signed 1,100 team lithographs. It’s 983 by my count.″

Mahone said he is losing money because he had planned to sell 1,000 photographs signed by each player to select customers and the QVC cable shopping channel. Instead, only 166 pictures were signed by every player and the QVC contract was canceled, he said.

``I’m not paying these players for something they didn’t finish,″ he said.