It may just be me, but if my company collapsed, I think I would like to think I'd have the decency to be accountable for it, and not blame those who gave financial support to the business. Now it looks like a long round of court battles are ahead, which does not help out those who are owed for work long since completed and will instead cost them earnings. (A DISCLAIMER: I know several folks who worked with CIC in a wide range of capacities, but we have seldom talked about the problems. I am really perplexed by these press clippings and the conflicts they include.)
Also, while those folks and others are locked into legal battles and are advised by attorneys not to speak publicly about the issues involved, the owner of Cherries decides to head to the press and lay out some blame and dodge the problems of not paying employees or vendors.
The Metro Pulse had a report in which it is claimed Cherries For Life's Ingrid Gee has started a new business called Blue Dress TV, but in reports in the Knoxville News Sentinel she says she was hired by them to run the business. Which is it?
And the thought of starting up another biz while former employees go empty-handed ... well, that's just lousy treatment, in my opinion.
Also, the KNS report originally stated that Ingrid started BlueDress and was updated to reflect that an "undisclosed management group" has hired her to run the company. But no such change has been noted with Metro Pulse.
More conflicts in that KNS report:
" ... Gee said she agreed to walk away from the company with about $155,000 worth of debt."
"She said at least $70,000 is owed to creditors and that part of the agreement she signed required the management group to pay all creditors."
KNS reporter Carly Harrington, in a third report yesterday, presents more oddities from Gee. Emails Harrington received from Gee were offered to prove how other investors in the business failed to do their jobs, but they just make no sense. These aren't documents which detail the specifics of the business operation.
This email (which noted concerns on how accounts are or are not being handled) has the last few lines blocked out by a note from Gee. That line includes the telling question "Who is setting up the books?"
In this email (again, offered as proof of the 'business structure') Gee asks "Do we have any investors" and that funds are already depleted for the business (dated September 6th).
This email is a copy of a Code of Ethics for the best way to do business ... but again, no documents which detail the actual responsibilities of investors or Gee. Odd. What are these meant to actually prove? Why did the reports not dig into these issues?
Seems to me if I had investors or co-owners who failed to deliver on their responsibilities, then I would provide the press with more that some emails of me asking some folks for more money. Why not provide the documents which detail the structure or documents of refusals/failures to do said jobs? If I were offered what I considered a forced buyout, then I again would provide some documents to back up the claims.
So now the public is watching a "he said-she said" battle. And contractors and employees are forced into court to obtain earnings for work already supplied.
I hope the press digs deeper, and offer some hard facts on what has really been happening.
One reason I'm posting this today is to get your feedback -- what do you make of these reports? Do the claims make sense? Doesn't the press need to double-check claims made prior to printing/publishing stories?
One more item of note - a November 12th post from Harrington on the closing of Cherries from Gee:
"Ingrid Gee, who founded the cafe that opened in September, said she decided to sell in order to "put it into the hands of somebody who could develop its full potential."
"I like to be in the development of new ideas and concepts. It was a pleasure to start and found the cafe. Now, I'm off to bigger and better things. It was nice to work with all the people who helped make it happen," Gee said."
Nice? Is being "nice" a substitute for paying employees? So many conflicting comments - which ones are true?
SEE ALSO: KnoxViews