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Yashin NAC Donation Investigated

January 21, 1999

OTTAWA (AP) _ Ottawa Senators star Alexei Yashin wanted the National Arts Centre to pay up to $85,000 a year to his parents as a condition of his 5-year, $1-million donation to the center, the NAC said Thursday.

In a written statement, the center said the money, to be paid to Yashin’s parents though Tatiana Entertainment Inc., was part of a side-deal agreed to by John Cripton, former chief of the arts center.

The board of directors was not advised of the arrangement, Jean Therese Riley, chairwoman of the board, said in the statement. It came to light only after Cripton departed _ amid controversy over other matters _ in October.

A review by prominent Ottawa lawyer David Scott concluded the agreement was ``illegal, unenforceable and could not possibly be honored by the NAC,″ the statement said.

The payments were supposedly to be made to Yashin’s parents for services rendered.

But Scott wrote in his legal opinion that ``it is now recognized that the intent was that such payments would not be dependent upon the actual delivery of services.″

No money was ever paid to Yashin’s parents.

The $1 million donation by the Senators’ center and captain was announced with much fanfare by the arts center a year ago.

But Yashin made only the first annual payment of $200,000. It was disclosed this week that he would make no more contributions for ``personal reasons.″

His withdrawal from the deal came after the NAC told Yashin’s lawyer and agent that his parents would not be getting any money.

There was no immediate comment from Yashin, who was in Boston with the Senators for a game. His agent, Mark Gandler, could not immediately be reached.

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