Coyle: Adelphia Board Didn’t OK Golf Course, Timber

New York -- Adelphia Communications Corp.’s board of directors never gave approval for the family of founder John Rigas to use company funds to construct a golf course or to purchase timber rights, former Adelphia director Dennis Coyle testified Thursday.

"Definitely not -- that’s not their business," Coyle responded when assistant U.S. attorney Richard Owens asked if Coyle and other board members had approved spending Adelphia funds on ventures that weren’t related to the cable industry.

Coyle completed his third day on the witness stand Thursday. The defense teams for Rigas; his sons, Timothy and Michael; and former Adelphia assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey may get their first crack at cross-examining Coyle Monday, when the trial resumes in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Coyle also testified Thursday that he was not aware of cash advances that Adelphia allegedly gave to John, Tim and Michael Rigas and to Highland Holdings, a private partnership controlled by the Rigas family.

Owens elicited testimony from Coyle that pinpointed former Adelphia chief financial officer Tim Rigas as playing a key role in three co-borrowing agreements Adelphia obtained along with subsidiaries controlled by the Rigas family between the fourth quarter of 1998 and 2002.

Coyle testified that Tim Rigas told the Adelphia board the co-borrowing agreements would make it easier for Adelphia and the subsidiaries that were controlled by the Rigas family to borrow money from banks.

"One benefit was that it eliminated the situation where Adelphia and the [Rigas] managed entities are competing for lines of credit," Coyle said Tim Rigas told the board.

John Rigas, who has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, said he would not attend the trial Monday and Tuesday as he plans to fly to Minnesota to receive a CAT scan at the Mayo Clinic.