Skip to comments.Solar firm's use of state aid questioned
Posted on 04/29/2012 10:02:24 PM PDT by smokingfrog
After being fired in 2009 as the top executive of Willard & Kelsey Solar Group, a Perrysburg start-up that has received millions in state loans, William Mitchell made a decision that he wasn't going to go away quietly.
Before the company's chief executive officer left his job, he copied company records onto his computer's external hard drive -- months of financial transactions, banking records, and detailed expense reports showing the firm spent thousands on travel and entertainment, including trips to Detroit Tigers games and Pittsburgh Steelers events.
Emails from Mr. Mitchell also show that he took a keen interest in another company expense -- the monthly payments, some as high as $40,000, that went to several top executives.
Mr. Mitchell made a key decision to use this information in the months after he was fired. He hired a lawyer to press the company to pay him more than $1 million he claimed he was owed, not only as an executive of the firm but also as a part owner.
A review of the correspondence between Mr. Mitchell, his lawyer, and the law firm representing Willard & Kelsey, which was obtained by The Blade along with the copies of company records that he kept when he was fired, show he was going to use that information to get the money he felt he was owed.
In email after email to his lawyer he claimed he was instructed by the current CEO and chairman of the firm, Michael Cicak, to make payments to company executives from money supplied by a group of Italian investors and from funds from the Ohio Department of Development.
The lawyer, Joseph Katarincic of Pittsburgh, decided to use that information in his negotiations with Willard & Kelsey lawyers and then decided to turn up the heat --
(Excerpt) Read more at toledoblade.com ...