Had our experience with our former IT Director just been a case of him filing a complaint with the ODJ (without evidence) or filing a complain with me (also without any corroboration about $400 over over-billing), I would have been fine with that and this blog would be irrelevant in the public discourse on alleged retaliation. But that’s not what happened.
The ODJ complaint was made in bad faith and its inconceivable to reach any other conclusion. Counsel for M, our former IT Director, filed a Rico complaint alleging systematic over-billing. The attorney that filed the complaint did so at the request of M’s New Jersey attorney, without a shred of evidence. The ODJ requested evidence and none was provided (since there was not any such evidence) and the investigation was both opened and closed the same week. The Albany Oregon attorney who filed the complaint subsequently found out that the New Jersey attorney was Sandra Ware, M’s girlfriend. Every act by M, Ware and Egan were acts of bad faith. But it’s not why I’m writing the blog. It’s important to show the failure of counsel to review evidence and act in good faith, but it’s not why I’m writing.
M complained to me about his concerns, sending an email with an attached letter and a spreadsheet demanding the company stop over-billing as represented by the spreadsheet in hourly adjustments. He claimed that he received the spreadsheet via an email form another employee. In fact the spreadsheet showed about $400 in adjustments, which were fabrications, and represented 1/1000th of what we billed that month. Moreover, 80% of our clients were billed by some other form than hourly, a fact that M apparently did not know. I appreciate the concern and anyone is free to let me know their concerns. But, what a whistleblower is not entitled to do is interfere with the investigation. M refused to provide his source of the spreadsheet at the time of the complaint, i.e. did not provide the email he claimed to have received from that employee. He refused to do so. He did not provide it in discovery.
And so we have a false complaint to the ODJ and a complaint to me wherein he refused to provide the source of his evidence and through that act thwarted my investigation. Had we not already fired M, we would have fired him for interfering with the investigation. And this is an element of the story important to tell. We were unable to corroborate the spreadsheet evidence at anytime.
Perhaps the larger story is the role Sandra Ware played in assisting M prepare and execute on this plan for six months from May 2003 to November 2003. Over the course of a six month period M systematically removed or destroyed company owned FoxPro programs in an effort to continue to exert some leverage. We refused to bite. After his last day the programs could not be found and his employer shutdown. I am writing the blog, in part to show that a legally sophisticated team will try to use a false whistleblower claim to cover up a criminal acts, maybe many criminal acts. Withholding the programming was a criminal act.
We asked M to help post termination and without a shred of concern sat and watched as 150 people were laid off.
But in spite of all of this there is nothing more disconcerting than waiting 7 years to have a hearing, to adjudicate these issues, only to find out that M’s attorney and the arbitrator are former partners. No one disclosed it. Clearly the arbitrator had a duty to do so and he did not. Opposing counsel did not disclose it and my own attorney remembers nothing about it. I’m writing the blog about this.
What followed in the arbitration could best be described as an abuse of the litigation process so extreme, so corrupted, so unethical, so immoral, that it strikes at the very heart of my faith in the system. I want to have faith. So instead of lose my faith in the judicial system, I’m writing this blog for therapy and for profit.
The arbitrator when challenged on his lack disclosure, recused himself. He should have. But then Marshall told him he did not have the authority to do so; so he changed his mind. And when the arbitrator came back into the case, he dismissed all of our evidence in an act of retaliation. I’m writing this blog because as much as we call on business to not retaliate against employees, we also cannot tolerate those in positions of judicial power to retaliate against those of us who also file complaints. And arbitrator Crow did so. He retaliated.
Yes I have waited a long time to tell this story. M’s former employer is long past shutdown. I wrote my first blog on litigation involving Silicon Valley Bank and Cybercrime. This is twice now that my company has been attacked, has suffered at the hands of IT staff in our employment and outside of our employment engaging in acts defined by the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. I’m writing about cybercrime in this blog, those who do it, those who help them and those that profit from it.
There is no one reason for writing the blog. There are MANY.