As WW reported in today's print edition, John Plotkin, the former CEO of SAIF Corp., the state-owned worker's compensation insurer, has filed a tort claim against SAIF, as well as one current and two recently-retired SAIF officials.
In the tort claim, Plotkin alleges that current human resources vice president Ryan Fleming, recently retired government affairs vice president Chris Davie and former SAIF CEO Brenda Rocklin conspired to undermine Plotkin, who was fired May 9, after just three months on the job.
At least four senior SAIF officials, including three members of the company's top management team, have repudiated the accusations that formed the basis for Plotkin's termination.
Here's a snippet of the argument Plotkin's lawyer, Dana Sullivan, makes in his tort claim (PDF).
Contrary to the restrictions of Oregon’s ethics laws, Ms. Rocklin improperly influenced Chris Davie, Vice President of Corporate Policy and External Affairs, Ryan Fleming, Vice President of Operations and Human Resources, and members of SAIF’s Board of Directors to bring about Mr. Plotkin’s abrupt termination after only three months on the job. Although civil discovery will reveal why Ms. Rocklin desired that Mr. Plotkin’s employment be terminated, information currently available suggests that she either desired to resume the role of SAIF’s CEO or wished to maintain the status quo at SAIF by thwarting Mr. Plotkin’s efforts to introduce a new, more open and collaborative culture at SAIF. Mr. Davie and Mr. Fleming, acting in their individual capacities and outside the scope of their roles as Executive Council members, aided and abetted Ms. Rocklin in achieving her objective to displace Mr. Plotkin. Seizing upon second- and third-hand accounts (many of which are untrue) of what are only laughably characterized as inappropriate comments made by Mr. Plotkin, Mr. Davie, Mr. Fleming and Ms. Rocklin persuaded SAIF’s Board that Mr. Plotkin’s employment should be terminated.