It appears ousted VisionTV CEO Bill Roberts (Franks passim) is not yet finished with his jihad on the holy-rolling broadcaster.
Roberts’ tribulations, readers may recall, began in 2010 when leathery mogul Moses Znaimer’s ZoomerMedia bought Vision. Baked into the deal were employment guarantees for Roberts. Or so he was assured.
In 2012, Roberts sued Zoomer for $924,000, claiming Moses had stiffed him. He demanded two years’ severance and a paid six-month sabbatical – provisions he claimed the company had agreed to when it took over his Vision contract.
Roberts continued to work at Zoomer/Vision through the summer of 2012, but Moses had him shuffled to an office away from his colleagues and excluded him from job-related activities.
Roberts claimed this caused physical, mental and emotional stress, so he upped the ante, asking for $150,000 for the lost sabbatical and extra dough for bad faith, aggravated damages and the intentional infliction of mental stress.
Zoomer went for the rope-a-dope, throwing up nuisance motions to drive up Roberts’ legal costs and buy time. Moses lost the first motion to get Roberts’ lawyer fired and had to pay his costs. His second motion to have bad faith clauses of Roberts’ claim deleted proved to be another losing delay tactic.
And on it went until May 2016, when Justice Paul Perell, taking note of Zoomer’s “hypocritical posturing,” awarded Roberts some $800,000 in wages, damages, costs and interest.
Naturally, Zoomer appealed and prolonged the ordeal another year. Last spring, the appeal court upheld Perell’s decision and ordered Moses’ company to cough up. Failing that, the court authorized Roberts to seize company assets — what’s left of them (since Moses took over VisionTV, ZoomerMedia has gone from a high of 40 cents per share to its current value of four cents, Sandy McTire territory.)
Now Roberts is coming after Vision’s old board, the Inspirit Foundation (formerly S-VOX), its chairthingy Peter Lyman and CEO Andrea Nemtin, for his costs, inflated as they were by Zoomer’s shitbird tactics.
In a December letter to Inspirit, legalist James Renihan (Lax O’Sullivan Lissus Gottlieb) claimed Roberts ran up $380,447 battling Zoomer, of which the courts awarded him only $104,365, leaving him sucking the pipe for $276,082.
Inspirit, he alleges, enabled Zoomer’s contractual screwing of his client (payback, he suggests, after an attempt by the volunteer board members to pay themselves $25,000 each for their “advice” on the Vision sale was kyboshed by Roberts.)
The demand: spit up $150,000 forthwith, or get dressed up nice for court. That offer expired January 15.