There was a breakdown in communication and neglect on his part to not follow through. Ultimately, it was his responsibility. … I assure you this is something that is never going to happen again. —Lee Turner, attorney
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sidney Lowe’s ongoing court case reached a resolution Wednesday when the Jazz assistant coach pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for three years in North Carolina.
The Jazz assistant coach, who was charged on Feb. 18, received a suspended 45-day jail sentence, must pay $79,000-plus in restitution and was assessed a $2,000 fine, according to multiple media reports. Lowe will also be on 36 months of unsupervised probation and has to complete 100 hours of community service.
The 53-year-old Lowe flew from North Carolina to California on Wednesday after pleading in Wake County District Court. The Jazz were expecting him to arrive during that night’s game against the Kings.
The Jazz organization released a brief statement about Lowe’s situation through team public relations director Jonathan Rinehart, simply calling it a “personal matter.”
In his pregame interview, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin repeated that phrase when asked about Lowe. Corbin also kept his answer short when asked a follow-up question about whether or not the guilty plea would affect Lowe’s job with the Jazz.
“Not at all,” Corbin said. “Not at all.”
Lowe’s North Carolina-based attorney, Lee Turner, told The News & Observer that the former North Carolina State coach had a mix-up with his accountants over the returns in question from 2009-11.
Turner claimed Lowe filed federal tax returns for those years, according to the paper. But the Department of Revenue said Lowe didn’t file appropriate state income taxes for the $2.57 million he received for coaching the Wolfpack during that period.
“There was a breakdown in communication and neglect on his part to not follow through,” Turner told The News & Observer. “Ultimately, it was his responsibility. I assure you this is something that is never going to happen again.”
Lowe’s new accountants in Utah have filed the previously missing state tax returns, according to the North Carolina paper.
Lowe joined Corbin’s staff before the 2011-12 season began.
SACRAMENTO FAN: Corbin had two different stints in Sacramento during his 16-year playing career in the NBA. He first played for the Kings in the 1995-96 season and then returned for the 1999-2000 campaign.
The Jazz coach was happy that the city and NBA worked out a deal to keep the Kings in California’s capital. That was very much in question the last time Utah visited last season as Seattle tried to lure the team away.
“I’m happy I’m back,” Corbin said. “I think after playing here for a couple of years, I understand the people here and how excited they are about having the franchise here. It’s just good to see the team stay in this area.”
BUDDING RIVALRY: Corbin looks forward to watching Jazz big man Derrick Favors and Kings center DeMarcus Cousins go at each other for years to come. Both players were top-five picks in the 2010 draft, with Favors going at No. 3 to the Nets and Cousins fifth overall to Sacramento.
“They’re two young guys who are finding their way in this league. They’re going to be around for a long time,” Corbin said. “It’s two really talented young guys who’s going to compete for everything on the floor. It’s a handful on both sides.”