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The Dallas Morning News reports on the lawsuit filed against Minyard Food Stores by the company’s former CEO, Ronald Johnson, charging that he was owed $600,000 in severance pay and claiming that he had been libeled by ownership.

The alleged libel, according to the report, was contained in an email sent by ownership to company employees about Johnson’s behavior after he left the company.

Johnson probably isn’t thrilled by a countersuit filed by Minyard and its mother company, Renegade Swish, which charges that during his 18 months with the retailer, he "lined his own pockets," "was caught with his hand in the cookie jar" and "feathered his own nest" by hiring "cronies." Johnson also is accused of trying “to solicit hard-to-get Mavericks playoff tickets from vendors in violation of the retailer's ethics codes,” according to the story.

Johnson’s attorneys have said they plan to expand their libel claims.
KC's View:
We will not pass judgment on either one of the suits. Not yet, anyway. We’ll wait for the (still to be set) court date and verdict.

That said, we know that when Johnson became CEO at Minyard, there were a number of people who doubted his ability to revive the company based on his performance at places like the no-defunct Jitney Jungle. And there were people at other chains where he worked who expressed, shall we say, a certain chagrin that perhaps he was taking a little too much credit for how these companies performed.

There is a wonderful passage in Robert Bolt’s “A Man For All Seasons” in which the hero of the piece, Sir Thomas More, says:

“If we lived in a State where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us good, and greed would make us saintly. And we’d live like animals or angels in the happy land that needs no heroes. But since in fact we see that avarice, anger, envy, pride, sloth, lust and stupidity commonly profit far beyond humility, chastity, fortitude, justice and thought, and have to choose, to be human at all ... why then perhaps we must stand fast a little even at the risk of being heroes.”

Don’t know why. Just seemed appropriate.