Guide Dog Group Wants| Man Brought to Heel

     ADDENDUM: A item published in the August 30, 2011 edition of this page under the headline “Guide Dog Group Wants Man Brought To Heel,” which reported on the allegations in a civil complaint filed on August 25, 2011 by the OccuPaws Guide Dog Association in Wisconsin’s Dane County Circuit Court, contained an inaccurate description of the allegations against Douglas Weil, one of the defendants named in that complaint. Contrary to the report, the complaint does not allege that Mr. Weil charged the Association $25,500 to train a single dog. Courthouse News retracts this statement in its report.     
     Instead, the report should have indicated that according to an invoice attached as an exhibit to the complaint, Mr. Weil charged the Association $25,500 for the training and in-home placement of two guide dogs (“Hanna” and “Weily”), as well as training for a third dog (“Hooch”) and a balance due for a fourth dog (“Gilbert”).     
     Courthouse News apologizes for the error.
     MADISON, Wisc. (CN) – A nonprofit that trains guide dogs for the blind sued a member who allegedly charged it $25,500 to train a single dog.
     The OccuPaws Guide Dog Association sued its former board member and training director Douglas Weil and his business, The Dog Works Training Center, in Dane County Court.
     OccuPaws claims Weil was in cahoots with OccuPaws’ founder and former board president Nicole Meadowcroft, to charge the nonprofit twice the “going rate” to train and place guide dogs.
     OccuPaws claims Weil knew that when he issued the $25,500 invoice – and signed a “note” for OccuPaws’ alleged debt – that any debt over $500 had to be approved by the board, and that OccuPaws had a balance of only $3,500 on the books.
     OccuPaws says Board President Meadowcroft made an “unenforceable promise” to pay the debt, without board approval, and in breach of her fiduciary duty. It claims she “misled OccuPaws’ board and members as to the organization’s responsibility for the ‘note.'” Meadowcroft resigned in October 2010.
     Weil, who resigned in July 2010, claims OccuPaws still owes him $7,700. And, the group says, he continues to contact OccuPaws’ clients to try to sell guide dogs, in violation of a confidentiality agreement.
     OccuPaws demands return of $17,800, which it calls an unauthorized payment that Weil already has received, and damages for breach of fiduciary duty and costs.
     OccuPaws is represented by Lisa Baiocchi with Jackson Lewis.

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