Chapter 24 -We were the Plaintiff…of Sorts

The 7 year arbitration of course started with M hiring an attorney and demanding his job back. Even if in a moment of stupidity we would have wanted to bring M back, by then he had through his girlfriend Sandra Ware induced an attorney in Albany Oregon to file a complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice. He managed to get the attorney to file the complaint with no corroborating evidence. There was no corroborating evidence. It was just an effort to try to rescind his termination. At that time he was still working for us. We had given him his notice of termination on October 2, 2003 but had set his last day of employment as November 15, 2003.

Again even by then it was clear that the other members of our IT staff had not the ability to generate reports or process the data we were required to process back then. At that time we had two other staff members that claimed to be using the Foxpro programs M had initially written. But that was not true. That was a lie and it was discovered even before M’s final day. Several weeks before M had turned over to us a zip file of Foxpro programs. However when our staff attempted to use them during test runs of reporting, data exporting and importing, they claimed the programs errored out. I should have made them show me. Sometime later we concluded that snippets of code were removed, queries were trying to extract data from incorrect fields, etc. The Foxpro programs did not work…period. And these program files were not on the 60 gig hard drive.

We were processing results on 10,000 live calls a day, more than 200,000 events a day, information deposited on a unix database associated with a proprietary dialer we purchased. The information created in the unix database M did not effect. It was dealing with all of this data that was the challenge and to meet that challenged we used stored procedures developed in Visual Foxpro. Those stored procedures allowed us to not have to write the code necessary to do our IT job of reporting and processing each and every day. Instead once the program of stored procedures were created the processing and reporting steps were reduced to a few hours of work a day. That is the goal of every IT department, to create the programs that are tested and produce accurate reports and other mandates without reinventing the wheel each day. I consider this a universally understood and accepted expectation of a company’s IT staff.

But those procedures turned over by M never worked. On his last day with us he turned over the business computer he used and the hard drive in use on that computer was what we referred to as the 60 gig hard drive. Upon getting that computer we went to work to find the Foxpro programs that comprised the executable files along with our stored procedures necessary to do the IT work daily. The program files provided by M weeks before did not work. The Foxpro files on the computer he just turned over were data files only, not the program code necessary to create the data files. Out two IT staff members were completely inept at being able to create the programming on their own even though their respective skill sets in this area had been verified by M. At first I was convinced the programming was there, just that our IT staff was not competent to handle it. I would later find out the code was not turned over.

Nonetheless the combination of out IT staff skills and the absence of programs (which we owned) resulted in us going down for a week, a loss of $50,000. Now recognizing that our staff could not be trusted to accomplish their primary directive, I hired a consultant to fly in and re-write the programs necessary for us to once again operate. He accomplished this in a matter of days after he arrived mid-week. The first thing he did of course was to search the 60 gig hard drive for Visual Foxpro or any other database programs. He found none.The programs Mr. Gedye created for us we used for years to come.

I think it would be helpful to include a bit of Gedye’s testimony on what Foxpro programming he tried to find on the 60 gig hard drive, starting on page 355 of the attached testimony transcript.ARBITRATION TAKEN ON 05-25-2010

3 Q. Okay. And what — what if anything did you

4 find on that machine in terms of Fox Pro programs?

5 A. Like I said I think we found some of the

6 sample outputs on there but we did not find any

7 actual code.

Realizing that M had not turned over the programming or worse that it was removed by one of our IT staff in concert with him, we filed a police report and then had forensic examinations done by forensic experts, to preserve the data and to find if the programs had been deleted while in our possession post M. No code was ever found on the 60 gig hard drive.

And so what can we say about the Foxpro programs, executables, stored procedures, etc. all designed around processing our reports and data without recreating the code to do so? Again, it was not there on the 60 gig hard drive. M did not provide it. His staff could not find it. His staff could not reproduce it. Our consultant could not find it, but did in a few days recreate it. There was a lot of cost to pay for that. And a lot of Revenue lost.

There is nothing more alarming to a growing business than to determine that the IT department has gone rogue and is trying to take over or control the company. But that’s what happened to us. Mutiny.

And why did Mr. Crow not consider this? We sought damages for the losses caused by M’s withholding of our programs, some $100,000 in damage. And yet Crow considered none of this, some how endorsing M’s destruction of our property. Three people testified on our behalf on this issue. Only M testified on the absence of programming code, claiming it never existed. For some reason Crow bought into that there was no programming code, no executables, no stored procedures ever created. Why would a seemingly intelligent arbitrator Crow believe this? I think we know Crow did not believe M. We know why now.

And yes we were the Plaintiff. And yes our programming code was gone.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s