Massa v. Dickert: Statement

This morning, I awoke to see articles in the Elmira Star-Gazette and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – available on the web. I had listened to Rochester radio talk-show host Bob Lonsberry reading the documents from the Steuben County Clerks Office on the air yesterday and his subsequent posting on his own blog about this case.

I have been incredibly surprised at just how accurate Mr. Lonsberry has been in regard to this story. For the most part, Mr. Lonsberry painted a very accurate picture of what has transpired. You can read it here on his blog, “DID ERIC MASSA COMMIT PERJURY?”

Update Nov 3rd: The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Elmira Star-Gazette published my response and the AP ran an article that included the fact that the apartment in question belonged to the student volunteers.

For the record:

1) What was this “employment dispute” about?

The facts were that I worked for the Massa campaign from April to June 2006; the campaign was low on funds (which was why I did not request the majority of my salary until my departure); and the campaign chose not to honor my contract terms. On Mr. Massa’s first lawyers suggestion, I took my dispute to the American Arbitration Association.

Four days before the hearings were to begin, Massa’s attorneys asked the arbitrator to resolve the dispute in my favor. Please see Massa v Dickert – Arbitration Hearing Cancelled for more specific details.

This arbitration was no different than thousands of other small business and wage disputes being negotiated across the country at this moment – important to me personally, but pretty standard stuff in the daily life of a business.

2) What is the truth as to the dispute between you and Mr. Massa?

In my opinion, Mr. Massa seemed to be willing to do anything to avoid paying my contractually agreed wages. This has always been a simple business matter to me, and that’s all I ever wanted it to be. I think it is likely that Mr. Massa’s lawyers thought that I would drop the issue if they made a bunch of unsavory, false personal and business allegations about me. They were wrong.

Despite these events, I am a lifelong Democrat, and certainly did not want this simple business issue to harm the Democrats’ chances of gaining control of Congress.

3) Were any of Massa’s allegations true?

Absolutely not. Most of the allegations are carefully lawyered-up so as to imply things that are not true.

The truth is that I did ask young people – men and women – to volunteer for the campaign. That was part of my job, and is standard practice for campaigns. Some of these so called “boys” were, in fact, college students that have already filed affidavits in Steuben County completely refuting Massa’s allegations – and these affidavits were of the students’ own personal knowledge.

Mr. Massa claims he had personal knowledge, but the affidavits from the college volunteers refute that as well.

4) What is your arbitration demand?

My demand in the arbitration was to get my contract pay: about $39,000 made up of overdue salary (which I had not taken during the campaign to conserve costs), campaign expenses (personal funds for campaign office expenses), and a severance package – plus the legal fees in pursuit of my pay. All of his legal wrangling could have been avoided if he just upheld our contract.

6) Mr. Massa has stated to a reporter he believes it can be solved this can be solved amicably, what do you have to say on this?

I’ve asked from the start that this situation be resolved amicably. That is why I began a private and quiet arbitration, as Mr. Massa’s first set of attorneys suggested.

Then, he brought the dispute into the public eye for reasons I cannot fathom, perhaps to scare me with public mudslinging. To date, Mr. Massa’s delay tactics have cost me a considerable amount of time and expense to simply receive my contractually agreed upon wages and fight Mr. Massa’s false and manufactured allegations.

For completion of the case, please see these three posts:

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One Response to Massa v. Dickert: Statement

  1. Massa v. Dickert: Arbitration Hearings Cancelled

    With just 96 hours left until the first day of hearings were to begin, Eric Massa has conceded that the campaign was liable for my wage claim that was the origin of this arbitration. Eric Massa also conceded the other claims that he had made against m…

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