“To only focus on Steve Garvey’s baseball accomplishments would leave out a lifetime of achievements as a businessman, philanthropist, volunteer and most importantly a devoted family man,” reads the website http://www.stevegarvey.com , billed as his official site. “Garvey understands that in the ever-changing world we live in there is a great necessity of being a man of honor, integrity and quality.”
But records show that the Garveys have made a habit of dodging payments on almost every type of expense. Phone, gas and electric bills have been delinquent. Checks to the local supermarket have bounced.
Fed up with not getting paid, the Garveys’ pediatrician wrote a letter in March 2003 stating that any future medical services provided to their children would be on a “cash-only” basis.
Even the Garveys’ church had to wait nearly a year to receive the $2,700 it was owed for items the couple had agreed to buy at a charity auction, according to documents and interviews.
And, in violation of a court ruling, Garvey unilaterally decided to cut in half the amount of child support he was ordered to pay for a son he had out of wedlock. Just last year a judge threatened to jail Garvey if he failed to make payments in the future.
Until two years ago, Garvey and his wife lived in a $5-million mansion overlooking Utah’s world-renowned ski resorts. Yet despite the appearance of wealth, Garvey ” under penalty of perjury ” has repeatedly said in court declarations that he is deeply in debt.
In a two-hour interview with The Times, Garvey acknowledged having chronic financial problems but declined to publicly address specific information contained in this article. Speaking generally, he blamed his debt on a combination of tax liabilities, financial support for most of his nine children and stepchildren and costly legal battles over business and personal affairs.
“Do I expect to pay every debt? Do I want to? Absolutely,” said Garvey, now living in Southern California. “The day I’m able to be debt-free is the day I’m going to be the happiest guy around.”
Later, in a prepared statement, Garvey added that he was saddened by “the misuse of the L.A. Times by outside sources who clearly are intent on defaming myself and my family. I could positively address each issue but that would only validate this vicious abuse of a private family.”