At the June 25th board meeting, LHCC directors debated defending against the Masters lawsuit. Directors evaluated whether they should use Rees Broome, a Vienna-based law firm that LHCC Treasurer John Martel compared to an “ambulance chaser” with “extravagant” rates or the lower-priced Segan Mason & Mason. (For more on John Martel’s evaluation of Rees Broome, watch Use Rees Broome Pts 1 & 2 on our Videos page.) The board also considered whether LHCC should defend the 5 directors individually named in the Masters suit: Dave Buermeyer, Suzy Marcus, Ken Murphy, Noel O’Brien, and Steve Locke.
On this last point, defendant Dave Buermeyer suggested that the individual defendants recuse themselves or abstain from voting on whether LHCC should defend the 5 directors. After all, it would be very self-serving for these 5 directors to vote in favor of a motion to get LHCC to pay for their defense. But that created a little problem. Earlier in the meeting, with everyone – including Steve Locke – in the room, LHCC President Wayne Poyer announced that director Chris Allison was “called away unexpectedly.” At no time during the 3 hour meeting did Chris Allison appear and, in light of Wayne Poyer’s comment, there was no reason to believe that Chris Allison was nearby.
LHCC has 11 directors. With 1 absent, that left 10 directors. If the 5 director defendants recused themselves from voting on that motion, that would leave only 5 directors able to vote. However, 6 directors are required for a quorum, or the minimum number that can transact business. The 5 non-defendant directors actually present at the meeting would not be able to approve a motion to pay for the defense of the 5 defendants.
To get what he wants – a motion passed for LHCC to pay for his legal representation, director Steve Locke suggests:
I can go outside and in 30 seconds get Chris Allison’s signature on a piece of paper. I’ve been trained. I’ve watched and observed how to do that. Yeah.
Since Chris Allison was “called away unexpectedly,” he is not in the immediate vicinity. Obtaining his legitimate signature in 30 seconds is an absolute impossibility, particularly if Chris Allison were allowed any time to review what he is asked to sign. It’s pretty clear what Steve Locke is suggesting to the board. Steve Locke will do whatever it takes, even if it means coming up with the signature of a director who is not even present, to pass a board resolution authorizing LHCC to pay for his legal counsel.
Instead of a negative reaction to Steve Locke’s repugnant suggestion, he gets a warm reaction. Pat Shields can be heard on the video interjecting in a complimentary way: “You had training.” When Steve Locke says that he has “watched and observed how to do that,” one senses that this is business as usual. This conduct reminds us of defendant Noel O’Brien’s suggestion that LHCC fabricate costs for non-existent employees as a response to Masters’ information requests. Fabricating things must be, as Pat Shields and Steve Locke remark, part of the Lake Holiday training. Ray Sohl, the current GM, sat through this entire episode and said nothing. We can imagine that former GM Dave Ingegneri witnessed equally troubling episodes, yet said nothing.
When Bill Masters heads to court on Thursday against Steve Locke and the other defendants, these are the kind of people he will be up against: soul-less people who will stop at nothing to get their way.