Bouchard, His Buddies, and his Bentley
The Delaware Court's Follies
Can you imagine a Delaware Chancery Court judge being sued in United States Federal Court for violating a worker’s First and Fourth Amendment rights in the TransPerfect case? Well it’s happening folks.
A TransPerfect Global executive, named Timothy Holland, has filed suit against Delaware’s Chancellor Andre Bouchard and his former partner, now court appointed Custodian (Receiver), Bob Pincus of Skadden Arps for civil rights violations, including the chilling of free speech. Bouchard who, for the first time in history, has ruled that this extremely profitable, private company; American success story with 4,000 employees, be taken over by this "Custodian" who has been anointed with virtually unlimited and unchecked power. Even worse, the way Bouchard has engineered his "take-over" of the company, the daily decisions that his buddy Pincus makes (like threatening workers into silence, intimidating them, seizing their emails, etc.) escape any meaningful review, either by Bouchard or the Delaware Supreme Court.
My sources tell me that Pincus, and his $1,000 per hour consultant friends, now operate with complete judicial immunity at TransPerfect, and believe that Bouchard's blessing renders them "above the law." Time will tell how the United States Federal Court, and probably the Department of Labor, feel about the legality of Pincus' actions. Most importantly, when the truth comes out, Bouchard himself must be held accountable by the State of Delaware, if, as alleged, he or his agents took unlawful actions to curtail Free Speech, or bestowed unlawful searches and seizures of workers' private property, under the threat of job termination. Disbarment would be appropriate.
The corruption and cronyism, and the fleecing of TransPerfect by the State of Delaware to the tune of $8 million dollars so far, must stop. Before Bouchard's political appointment to the bench, Custodians and Receivers were never instituted at profitable companies, because such a practice would open up wide avenues for abuse. And you can clearly see that abuse... shown in the public ads by the workers' political group, which have informed the public that Pincus and Skadden Arps are charging $1,400 an hour! Please note that his rate was not negotiated, as is usually the case, when a Receiver in a bankruptcy situation gets paid. Folks, this is not a Bankruptcy situation ! It appears that the Chancellor ordered unchecked, unabashed, and uncalled for billing of TransPerfect to be paid to his personal friend. Folks, if this isn't corrupt cronyism, what is?!! So far, under the false pretense of "helping" TransPerfect (which never needed any help) Bouchard has approved approximately $3 million in bills alone for Pincus's firm in just one year!
Could it get any worse? Absolutely. Apparently, under Chancellor Bouchard’s orders, Pincus and his consultants appear to be using teutonic, gestapo like tactics that are frightening workers into a paranoid frenzy. The Chancery Court ordered (directly or through its agents) hundreds of TransPerfect employees to shut down their protected political activities or face retaliation from the Court. Bouchard's order gives Pincus the power to order illegal search and seizure of individual workers' personal phones, personal email accounts, and personal records -- again, all under the threat of the Court terminating workers jobs or sanctioning them with huge fines. (and we know how sanction-happy Bouchard is if he doesn't like you). Wow!
As we know, Bouchard sanctioned CEO Phillip Shawe to the tune of 7.1 million dollars to be paid to Elizabeth Elting and ordered him to pay Kevin Shannon (Elting’s attorney), 1.4 million dollars. Shannon is another one of Bouchard’s cronies. I cannot stress this enough: Not one fact witness testified against Mr. Shawe in the entire proceeding! -- Not one single employee out of 4,000 testified that Mr. Shawe did anything wrong. On the contrary, every employee who I have talked with at TransPerfect says Bouchard's decision is based on falsehoods, bias, and improprieties. Interestingly, I heard Bouchard drives a Bentley. What kind of judge drives $300,000 car to work? What message does that send?
What message does that send?
Bouchard has done more than scratch his buddy's back (Kevin Shannon, Elting’s attorney) with a corrupt decision; he has done more than use his position to unjustly enrich his former law firm partner (Bob Pincus); he has done more than risk Delaware's entire business-friendly reputation and our state economy; now, he has openly flouted the document which houses our most sacred beliefs: The United State Constitution. These 4,000 workers and their families have the right to Free Speech, the Right to Petition the government (without retaliation), and the right to be secure in their private papers and possessions. These issues are sensitive and they are the foundation of America.
I laud Mr. Timothy Holland for his courage to stand up to this tyrannical behavior within this incredibly successful company, where he has worked for over a decade. Frankly, I find Chancellor Bouchard’s outrageous decisions and the actions of his henchman, Bob Pincus, reprehensible and despicable. I hope the system works and Mr. Holland prevails in his litigation. I have no doubt that Delaware Governor Jack Markell made a huge mistake in nominating Andre Bouchard as Chief Chancellor and no doubt that the Delaware Legislature made a mistake in confirming him. I can only hope for the good of the State of Delaware, Bouchard is eventually removed from the bench. Beyond denigrating the noble aspects of justice and equity that the Court of Chancery is supposed to be about, Bouchard looks to be bad for business, and what is bad for business, is bad for Delaware. The corporate franchise that Delaware enjoys is now at risk, because of Bouchard’s nefarious actions.
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network