A lawyer who doesn’t get PR loses again.

So, I’m a little biased: Neil Freund who was the attorney working for DP&L in the case against the 3 “executives” who bilked the company and its board of directors out of millions- was also the attorney for the City of Dayton in the civil part of the mask case.

He knows how to fold them- right after he collects his fees. In my case, he pushed and pushed to run my legal costs up and the city’s – then started talking about how I might be liable for his fees too- if I didn’t win (which was highly unlikely since we had won 5 court decisions already). The fact is- DP&L should consider suing Freund for taking them on this legal billing expedition- instead of settling for an additional $25 million. Either that, or fire the entire current DP&L “leadership”

Ex-DPL execs leave with $58 million
DPL Inc. has spent nearly three years prosecuting a civil lawsuit that claimed its former three top executives defrauded the utility out of millions of dollars. But when the lawsuit settled Monday, DPL not only let the former execs keep $33 million in deferred compensation, it paid them another $25 million.

That $25 million buys a clean slate for Dayton Power and Light Co.’s corporate parent, which has operated under a cloud since 2002. It halts a jury trial that was embarrassing to everybody involved and stops the bleeding of legal fees. And it takes away the uncertainty that the jury could slam either side with a huge damage award.

“On the surface, it seems the company didn’t get much,” said University of Dayton law professor Harry Gerla. “It was almost a wash. Did anybody get anything out of it but the lawyers?

He said the settlement spares DPL officials the distractions and bad publicity of a lawsuit. “I suppose they got the intangible (benefit) of not having their dirty laundry hung out for days.”

In exchange for the $25 million, the former execs — Peter H. Forster, Caroline E. Muhlenkamp and Stephen F. Koziar Jr. — relinquished all claims against the company.

Attorneys for DPL and the executives didn’t return phone calls seeking comment Monday.

Shareholders should also consider suing the former board of directors for granting the trio of “executives” the right to abscond with the loot.

Questions about the worth of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio should be popping up as well.

Needless to say- corporate crime is doing fine in Dayton OH.

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4 Responses

  1. Ryan May 22, 2007 / 10:33 am
    Can someone give me a bit of background on this case? Also, what is the “mask case?”
  2. PhotoJim May 22, 2007 / 2:13 pm
    The only business – and it is a business – that continues to experience consistent and profitable growth in the City of Dayton is the civil court system of Montgomery County. These clowns we call lawyers have become so narcissistic and so out of control that they actually thumb their noses at their own customers ! On one day they make the appearance that they are in mortal combat against each other in the court room. The next day they’re swapping gossip as to who has deep pockets and who is easy picking over martinis at Dayton Country Club. What an absolute, A-1, USDA certified f&^$%*#& joke !
    Why our judges (and they are, OUR judges) allow these cases to get to a point where lawyers on both sides say “okay, we have enough billings now” is an issue well worthy of investigation by a party not beholden to “local influences.”
    This is where the real damage is being done to Dayton’s economy and populace who, no matter how hard people try and how innovative the ideas, can’t break free from the destructive and greedy pattern of behavior at the top. And where do you think the lawyers and their various corporate clients go to spend all that money ? Sure as hell isn’t in Dayton.
    And I love some of the responses on the DDN site regarding the article, saying that “this is executive talent worth their compensation.” Really. Hmmm. I guess so if you can call manipulating a board of directors, robbing shareholders and hiding behind lawyers as work requiring “talent,” worthy of all those $$$$$ millions.
  3. Greg Hunter May 22, 2007 / 5:46 pm
    Pete Forster was my introduction to big business and his legacy continues to ruin Dayton today. My father worked for DP&L and when Petey came on board in 1978 and I read my first annual report. The thing that stuck out is that management set their own goals for bonuses and then they obviously made the goals. Then Petey got into politics and gave us the legacy of Paula Mac, who made a great deal of money from her close relationship with Petey through her light bulb replacement company. Paula Mac’s protege is Judy Dodge. Petey also brought us the Mayor of West Carrollton and Kevin DeWine. There may be others. Dayton was a great and prosperous town when it was run by industrialists and engineers. When it got turned over to lawyers, funeral directors, developers and accountants, the place went to hell.

    There will be plenty of pain in the future as increasing energy costs will make people realize that they should live in closer quarters, grow local food and make products locally. The rise of the engineer will once again help Dayton contract gracefully. Engineers, Scientists and Farmers will need all the labor that realtors, mortgage brokers, lawyers and accountants can muster.

  4. David Esrati May 31, 2007 / 9:26 am

    The “Mask” case was when former Mayor Mike Turner (now Congressman) had me arrested for protesting in a city commission meeting- you can read more here: http://www.esrati.com/mission/Mask.htm
    As to more on the DP&L case- there is a lot of material out there-

    We upgraded our server last week- and some comments ended up in spam- sorry. Should be resolved now.

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