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September 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

An eight-year member of DISH network’s board of directors resigned over the manner in which a bid for the bankrupt telecommunications company LightSquared was handled — a bid that, if accepted, could result in millions of dollars of personal profits to company Chairman Charlie Ergen, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Thursday), citing people involved in the situation. The director, Gary Howard, had served on a special two-man board committee directed to assess the LightSquared deal, because Ergen had been buying up LightSquared debt at huge discounts and could profit substantially if DISH bought the company, the Journal said. Howard and the other committee member, Stephen Goodbarn, reportedly expressed concern that DISH’s $2-billion offer for LightSquared could look bad in the eyes of regulators, given Ergen’s personal interest in the company, and wanted to keep open the possibility that at least some if Ergen’s gains be returned to DISH’s shareholders. Members of DISH’s board, however, felt that the company could ensure that the deal would be fair to shareholders; moreover, they felt that Ergen stood to profit even if another company bought LightSquared, the Journal‘s sources said. The board disbanded the committee on July 23, two days before DISH made its bid for LightSquared. Two days later, Howard resigned.