Today the jury spoke in a case I brought in 2012 against UCAN for breach of contract, invasion of privacy and three other wrongful termination counts. After a one-week trial, a jury of 12 found that UCAN was wrong and that I had acted properly, reasonably and legally. The jurors vote: 11-1 in favor of all five causes of action I brought against UCAN. But there’s more to this verdict than meets the eye.
The big winner in this three-year case was truth, fought for by myself, numerous attorneys, witnesses, ex-UCAN board members and those who believed in my 28-years of ethical advocacy on behalf of consumers. The big loser in this case was lies; lies told by disgruntled UCAN employees, by UCAN’s current executive director Don Kelly, by UCAN’s attorney James Crosby (whose repeated accusations that I engaged in systematic embezzlement would have been blatant slander if uttered outside of a courtroom) and by those who give short-shrift to facts. And, finally, the jurors exposed the lies by two San Diego media outlets who engaged in a four-year smear campaign. These 12 jurors drove home the point that justice is fact-driven, speculation is media-driven.
- Justice is possible in America, even against steep odds;
- If you refuse to allow others to erode your own esteem and dignity, you can overcome the most ill-conceived assaults;
- To have faith in those 12 peers who sit on a jury, but above all, have faith in yourself.
- UCAN’s motivation in filing a “breach of fiduciary duty” complaint a full year after I left the organization had nothing to do with my conduct at UCAN and everything to do with the fact that San Diego Consumers’ Action Network (the nonprofit that I created after leaving UCAN) has been far more successful and effective than UCAN in the subsequent three years.
- I never signed an employment contract with UCAN so they had no means by which to prevent me from using my team of highly qualified experts to continue advocating for San Diego consumers.
- In regards to the incentive bonuses I received from 1992 through 2012, numerous UCAN board members had signed bonus checks for me over a 20-year period — all with full information about how the bonuses had been calculated and were consistently calculated.
- All of UCAN’s financial, payroll and administrative records were fully intact and delivered to UCAN.
- Not one Board member…..ever…..criticized my administration or accomplishments of UCAN at a board meeting or in my presence, during my 27 years at UCAN. Moreover every penny at UCAN had been fully accounted for during my directorship tenure.
- UCAN’s attorney desperately tried to get a faked set of Board minutes into the evidentiary record, but the jury paid it no heed.
- UCAN’s current Executive Director Don Kelly signed and filed forms with the IRS in 2012 indicating that my compensation had been fully approved and evaluated by the Board for the years 2009-2012.
- Kendall Squires — the sole Board member to testify against me at trial had no recollection of any material facts and, according to UCAN’s own attorney, had no idea that there even was a bonus program at UCAN in 2011…even though he had served as treasurer of the organization for the previous 13 years.