Former Yale trustee takes stand in price-fixing trial

Former Yale Corporation member Diana D. Brooks ’72 took the stand last week as the key witness in the price-fixing trial of former Sotheby’s chairman Alfred Taubman.

The New York Times reported that Brooks told the court Taubman had used her to coordinate higher prices and business practices with rival auction house Christie’s, and that Taubman told her to remain silent.

Brooks was named president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s in 1994. She had worked at the auction house for 20 years prior to the federal investigations.

Taubman — whose fortune is estimated at $770 million — has donated significantly to Brown and Harvard universities. In 1998 he gave $15 million to Harvard to fund the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government.

News of the scandal first surfaced after Brooks’ resignation from Sotheby’s on Feb. 21, 2000. She resigned her Yale Corporation seat following the June 2000 corporation meeting.

Yale President Richard Levin said Brooks and her husband were generous university supporters but declined further comment. Among her gifts are the varsity training room in Payne Whitney Gymnasium and the Athletic Medicine Center.

–Elise Jordan

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