- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A judge has given the children of late billionaire newspaper publisher Richard Mellon Scaife until Jan. 16 to file documents in their quest to have trustees detail how money was spent from a $210 million trust their father controlled.

Scaife’s children, Jennie Scaife, of Palm Beach, Florida, and David Scaife, of Pittsburgh, believe they were entitled to any remaining money in the trust after their father died July 4. Attorneys for both sides appeared in court Wednesday for a conference before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Kathleen Durkin.

Documents filed in advance of the court conference by the fund’s three trustees - PNC Bank, Scaife’s longtime attorney H. Yale Gutnick and James Walton, a relative - indicate the fund was exhausted by the time Scaife died, with much of the money going to fund the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and other Pittsburgh-area newspapers Scaife owned.

The money was spent on Scaife’s “media properties and/or maximizing his gifts to charity,” according to a filing by Gutnick. Scaife donated more than $250 million to charity during his lifetime, Gutnick said, describing Scaife as a “committed Libertarian” who “when asked what his occupation was, he would reply: ‘publisher and philanthropist.’”

PNC, in a separate filing, confirms that the trust is exhausted, but that all distributions of money “were made in good faith, were lawful and appropriate.” The bank has said it will account for the expenditures if ordered by the court.

Gutnick said Scaife’s children were never promised money from the trust, though David Scaife contends in court filings he was led to believe $90 million would be left when his father died.

The publisher’s attorneys said Scaife’s children each receive about $12 million annually from another family trust, which, like the trust Scaife exhausted, was set up by his mother, Sarah Mellon Scaife, an heiress to the Mellon family banking fortune. The other trust makes each of Scaife’s children worth between $350 million and $500 million, Gutnick said.

The documents Scaife’s children must file by the deadline are their responses to the trustees’ claims.

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