MARTINEZ, Cal. - Its former vice president claims the Corporation for Manufacturing Excellence fired him for blowing the whistle on the CEO's "illegal and unethical" acts.
Jonathan Lee claims CEO Brent Meyers' illegal and unethical acts included spending company money on himself, forging clients' letterhead, "intentionally overbilling clients, including state and federal agencies," improperly paying himself a bonus, "falsifying government-required surveys on behalf of clients; reporting false and misleading information to state and federal government officials; illegally hacking into employee and/or ex-employee email accounts to learn and subsequently disclose personal information; giving himself a raise without board approval; [and] charging commercial charter rates to Manex for use of personal boat, and then requiring Manex events to be held onboard."
Lee says he reported all this to co-defendant Chairman of the Board Steve Tessler, who told him, after investigating, "that Meyers would be placed on administrative leave ... and that plaintiff would then take over as interim CEO."
But Lee says that 5 days later, Meyers fired him "for untrue and pretextual reasons. The true reason for plaintiff's terminations was retaliation for whistleblowing," Lee claims in Contra Costa County Court.
He seeks punitive damages for wrongful firing, breach of contract, conspiracy, defamation and emotional distress. He is represented by J. Gary Gwilliam with Gwilliam, Ivary, Chiosso, Cavalli & Brewer, of Oakland.
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