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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Sitrick’

Baseball Orders A-Rod’s Rep to Snitch

Keep your head down.Yes, it’s Halloween, and yes, baseball season ended last night—but there’s some serious drama going on in the Alex Rodriguez case. This week, Major League Baseball subpoenaed A-Rod rep Michael Sitrick of Sitrick & Company, famous for boosting the profiles of shamed stars like Michael Vick. They’re trying to force him to say that he knew what he knew when he knew it about Florida steroid shop Biogenesis.

More specifically, they want him to hand over documents that he and Rodriguez supposedly took from the owner of the company, then pitched to Yahoo Sports in an effort to both obstruct the investigation and smear other athletes who did business with Biogenesis, thereby mitigating the damage done.

That didn’t work so well since Rodriguez is the only subject of the current steroid crackdown to fight the charges. He now insists he never stole the documents, and it doesn’t look like MLB has conclusive evidence that he did.

This is both a legal issue and an ethical issue, but those phrases have different meanings for someone like Sitrick, who has built his reputation on an ability to polish even the foulest client to a golden sheen. If that’s gonna be your shtick, this is one way to go about it. But if we were, say, someone who wanted to earn the genuine respect of the public rather than squash a lawsuit and sail into the sunset on our yacht while giving our former fans the middle finger…

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Another Former Employee Joins Lawsuit Against PR Executive Michael Sitrick

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Allan Mayer, partner and head of the Strategic Communications Division at entertainment PR powerhouse 42 West, has joined his former colleague Richard Wool in a lawsuit against their former boss, Michael Sitrick.

They allege Sitrick devalued the Sitrick Employee Stock Ownership Plan to the tune of millions of dollars.

The New York Times spoke with James J. Brosnahan Jr., who is representing Mr. Sitrick, and said the suit is “based on mistakes of fact.”

Joseph Giunta, who at the time said he was general counsel for Sitrick And Company and Michael Sitrick, told PRNewser a few weeks ago that Sitrick, “was sued by one former employee. Not a single current or former employee has joined in the suit and though he claims to have sued on behalf of the ESOP, the court has not granted him that right.”

Another angle to this latest development is that Mayer worked with Sitrick on his book, Spin.

RELATED: Los Angeles Business Journal Looking Into Sitrick Lawsuit

Los Angeles Business Journal Looking Into Sitrick Lawsuit

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PR maven and agency owner Michael Sitrick is being sued by a former employee and current employees for “self dealing,” and devaluing the Sitrick Employee Stock Ownership Plan, PRNewser reported last week.

UPDATE: Joseph Giunta, general counsel for Sitrick And Company / Mike Sitrick writes in and says Sitrick, “was not sued by a former employee and current employees…He was sued by one former employee. Not a single current or former employee has joined in the suit and though he claims to have sued on behalf of the ESOP, the court has not granted him that right.”

It looks like the story will remain in the media. A reader sent in this ProfNet query today:

My story is about a lawsuit between Sitrick & Co. and a former employee, suing on behalf of the employee stock ownership plan. First, I would like to talk to any former (or current) employees. Second, I would like to talk to PR professionals about how a crisis-management firm should handle its own crisis. Contact: Joel Russell, jrussell@labusinessjournal.com

Sitrick has worked with a number of high profile clients over the years, from Halle Berry and Rush Limbaugh to Paris Hilton and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during a sexual-abuse lawsuit.

LA PR Maven Michael Sitrick Sued By Former Employee

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Michael Sitrick, CEO of Sitrick & Company, has worked with a number of high profile clients over the years, from Halle Berry and Rush Limbaugh to Paris Hilton and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during a sexual-abuse lawsuit.

Now, the “spin doctor of restructuring” — as the Financial Times recently called him — is being sued by a former employee and current employees for “self dealing,” and devaluing the Sitrick Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

His firm was acquired by Resources Connection, Inc. in October 2009.

The suit alleges that “of the more than $92M in cash, stock and earnouts earmarked for the ’09 acquisition of Sitrick Brinko Group by Resources Connection Inc., $87.4M went to the purchase of Sitrick’s personal goodwill and $5M went for the purchase of S&C’s assets,” reports O’Dwyer’s.

Richard Wool, who ran Sitrick and Co’s New York operations, is the lead plaintiff, although, “the suit has been filed on behalf of all the plan’s members, including some current employees,” reports Deadline.com.

“We don’t believe there is any basis to the lawsuit, if indeed one has been filed,” John A. Kober of Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Sitrick And Company’s legal counsel, said in a statement.

RELATED: Los Angeles-based Toyota dealers were about to hire Sitrick in February, before word came down from corporate headquarters advising them against the move.

Toyota To Dealers: Don’t Hire Your Own PR Firm

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Just last week, many media outlets — PRNewser included — reported that Southern California Toyota dealers took their image into their own hands, hiring powerhouse local PR agency Sitrick and Co. Now, it appears the deal never went through.

At the last minute, Toyota told dealers they preferred to handle the PR campaign.

“I was told Toyota and the dealers felt since they would essentially be delivering the same message, that Toyota Corp. should handle all communications,” Michael Sitrick told the Canadian Press.

Meanwhile, Quinn Gillespie & Associates dropped Toyota as a client this past Friday. QG&A president J. David Hoppe said the agency “was in a position adverse to Toyota.”

This all comes amidst news that Toyota executives highlighted $100 million in company savings for not issuing a recall this past summer, as well as the recall expanding into potential criminal and securities investigations.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. President James Lentz will testify in front of the House Energy Committee tomorrow. Toyota Motor Company CEO Akio Toyoda [pictured] will testify in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on February 24.

“We’re going to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire and make sure they do what’s necessary,” said Olivia Alair, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Department in a statement sent to The New York Times.

Toyota Hires Even More PR

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Toyota strengthened its PR bench within the Beltway last week, adding agencies Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates to a roster that already included Powell Tate and Golin Harris.

Now, Southern California Toyota dealers have hired Sitrick and Co., a crisis firm known mostly for their work with high profile clients like Michael Jackson, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Paris Hilton. The agency also handled PR for rapper Chris Brown after his altercation with then girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy’s last year. Agency namesake Michael Sitrick reportedly bills at $700 an hour.

The dealers hiring an agency does make sense, as media reports on the Toyota recall often quote dealers, who are more likely to give a straightforward take on the matter, as opposed to Toyota corporate executives, who have been fully briefed on talking points and are more likely to give the company line.

“The true and accurate story has not gotten out there. We want to make sure that, when the media reports on the issue, they get the correct facts and get the dealers’ point of view,” Sitrick told Automotive News.

Sitrick and Co. was acquired by consulting firm Resources Connection Inc. in October 2009.

Spin the Agencies of Record

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[Will SAG's new PR firm prevent another summer of protests? Via LAist]

This edition of Spin the Agencies of Record includes account wins in video gaming, track & field, trucking, a luxury hotel, and the Screen Actors Guild:

Cohn & Wolfe plays around with UbiSoft

Waggener Edstrom sprints ahead to win the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix, an international track & field event

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) hires Saylor to keep its members from acting out. SAG previously worked with crisis guru Michael Sitrick

The Chatwal hotel shacks up with The Brandman Agency in time for its opening later this year

Old Dominion Freight Line keeps on trucking with Ogilvy Durham