Neil Goteiner, a San Francisco attorney for UC Berkeley economist David Teece, has asked the Daily Planet to correct two stories about his client published in the Planet on July 16 and 23 stating that the IRS had taken Teece to tax court over its claims that he had underpaid his taxes by some $12 million.
In fact, Goteiner said, it was Teece who initiated the court action to challenge the agency’s claim that he had underpaid his taxes by $12 million.
As a matter of clarification, it was the IRS that initially began the action with its claim Teece owed back taxes, but it was Teece who initiated the court action.
The case was resolved in a settlement by which Teece agreed to pay $1.825 million, not $1.84 as reported in the paper.
Goteiner also alleges that the newspaper made “what appears to be an attempt to disparage Mr. Teece” by describing him as a “very silent partner” with developer Patrick Kennedy in downtown Berkeley apartment projects subsequently sold to Chicago billionaire Sam Zell.
That description was used because Teece, a public employee as a faculty member and a contributor to Berkeley political campaigns, has consistently refused to take calls from the paper about his role as a significant player in Berkeley real estate.
Teece did not respond to any of the paper’s calls about the tax case, and his Los Angeles attorney in the case offered only a “no comment” for a Jan. 29, 2008, story that contained the same statement about the tax case.