UPDATE: SAG Pension & Health Plans whistleblower Craig E. Simmons filed a second lawsuit today against his former employers. Today’s suit (read it here) stems from a letter that the SAG-PPHP Board of Trustees sent out to plan participants on December 22, 2011 declaring that Simmons’ allegations of embezzlement against then CEO Bruce Dow were false, according to an independent investigator. “Plaintiff is informed and believes that the Board of Trustees wrote this letter knowing that Plaintiff’s allegations against Dow were true,” says today’s complaint. Seeking a jury trial, the defamation and invasion of privacy suit by the former SAG-PPHP Executive Director of the Human Resources comes after he filed a wrongful termination suit against the organization back on March 22. In that initial suit, Simmons alleges that he was wrongfully terminated on March 25, 2011, because he wouldn’t cover up Dow’s alleged multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme of the SAG-Pension and Health Plans. Dow retired as CEO of the SAG Pension and Health Plans on April 30 of this year.
Today’s action makes no bones about going after SAG-PPHP for allegedly deliberately lying about Simmons’ accusations to the organization’s members. “The statement that Plaintiff made false allegations against Dow and others were libelous per se because the language in the letter tends to directly injure Plaintiff with respect to his profession, trade, or business by claiming that a Human Resources Manager purposefully made false complaints thereby imputing that he is not qualified to perform the duties of a human resources manager in violation of California Civil Code section 45A” says Simmons’ complaint today. “The words uttered were false because Plaintiff’s complaints were in fact true,” the complaint adds. As well as wanting to be compensated for loss of earnings and benefits plus legal costs, Simmons is seeking “exemplary and punitive damages in a sum appropriate to punish Defendants and set an example for others.” Craig E. Simmons is represented by attorneys Robert Brown and Gregory Smith.