If you are one of my 6,000 Delawarean subscribers, you likely have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season. We live in the greatest democracy in the world. For the most part, threats to that democracy and freedom are taken head on. While it happens all over, there are now relatively few cases where the rich, the powerful, the politically connected get to prey on hard working men and women of our society. In Delaware, the only place where too much unchecked power has led to what I perceive as utter corruption is in the leaders of our judiciary. Chancellor Bouchard, bolstered by having his former intern as Chief Justice (Leo Strine), has in my view, created an environment where possible corruption and mismanagement is more than tolerated, it is both feared and exalted.
The combination of these two factors leads to a situation where no Delawarean will take action to even investigate Chancellor Bouchard, who in my opinion and in the opinion of hundreds of TransPerfect employees and perhaps thousands of onlookers, indirectly allowed $250 million to be moved out of a successful company to what appears to be the enrichment of those who the Chancellor has admitted having and established as long term friendships: Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson and Bob Pincus of Skadden Arps, among others. While hundreds of members of the public scream for Bouchard to be at minimum, investigated, why does our legislature do nothing?!
From what I’ve heard, the Bouchard’s have Bentleys, Porsches, huge mansions in fancy neighborhoods, their kids fly around in private jets, and for this I hope they are grateful this holiday season. I demand justice for the countless employees, shareholders, officers of corporations and members of society that all pay a small “tax” to support Bouchard’s disgraceful operation, and because we do so without realizing it, the tables of every Delawarean are not as bountiful. Perhaps those who can do something about Bouchard apparently turn a blind-eye because they are making money as well? Or perhaps because they are too afraid to speak out against the Chancellor for fear of reprisal? All we read is nonsensical platitudes, no matter how crazy and unpredictable his actions. Believe me, it’s not because people in Delaware don’t know or suspect Bouchard has created appearances of impropriety!
Perhaps the most frustrating thing I have learned through my investigation and coverage of the TransPerfect case, is that many citizens feel the Chancellor is somehow operating in a suspicious and wrongful manner, but yet just shrug; “That’s the Delaware Way.” In my educated opinion, some cases could be decided while drinking expensive scotch in the country club conservatory. Indeed it’s enough to dishearten any patriotic American!
To the legislature; to the voters; and to members of the Delaware Bar Association who I see as acting as the front group supporting the Chancellor blindly, I think George Orwell may have said it best: “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims… but accomplices.” Orwell is right to an extent. If we want what I consider the Chancery Court corruption to stop, Delaware has to be willing to scrutinize the powerful. The cost of not doing so will be our reputation (which has already been compromised), our incorporation business, and our overall economy. I will have a simple plea I will make to our legislature: If you won’t begin an investigation, then, at minimum, make Bouchard unseal the case and make him show the public his friend’s bills he nefariously ordered paid with no examination.
There are literally thousands of employees who were irreparably harmed by Chancellor Bouchard seizing a situation — applying a corrupt and non-nonsensical remedy without precedent in the U.S. (maybe Russia?) — and engaging in the largest, single, I believe illegal wealth transfer in business history from honest hardworking TransPerfect employees into the pockets of the Chancellor’s elite country club friends. The case remains under a court-ordered seal. Hundreds, maybe into the thousands, of hours were billed that accounting employees claim were never worked! Apparently there is no itemization whatsoever?
My sources tell me that mainstream media sources have requested the sealed bills and files be opened, yet Bouchard refuses?! I say to our Chief Chancellor directly: “Unseal the records and let the public see what you and your friends have been up to. If you have done no wrong, you should have nothing to hide, no tracks to continue to cover. Open up the documents and invoices for scrutiny.”
Guess what your honor, the sale process is over, yet you still refuse to unseal the records?! Why??
The law supports unsealing the case when over, yet it seems that you continue to believe you are above the law, that you can play not only judge, but also jury and executioner — to thousands of employees at one of American’s most successful companies — and you and your cohorts think you can operate without full disclosure. It’s enough to make me, and any red-blooded American that cares about capitalism, property rights, and justice, sick.
If there is the slightest hint of corruption or even the appearance of corruption in the judiciary — it cannot stand. It cannot become the new norm. The cost to society, our children and our children’s children is too high. I believe you are not the man for this job, but while you are still in office, consider this the official request of the Coastal Network on behalf of my loyal readers. We formally request that you open the entire TransPerfect file. Why not clear the air Chancellor Bouchard and restore the public faith in your position, because the people of Delaware are skeptical?? Please prove my concerns wrong and show us these forced payments by TransPerfect under your authority and direction were justified and legitimate.
Again, while everyone is enjoying their holiday season, do not forget these many TransPerfect employees, many of whom make less than $50,000 per year, who are the ongoing victims of what I consider a possible $250 million fleecing!
It is the working employees and their families that are the true victims here. Folks, they scream for justice this holiday season. Unsealing and carefully scrutinizing these, definitive, court documents, that are public record by law anyway, is the least the Chancery Court can do. After 4 years of what I and many view as serious misappropriations and improprieties at the hands of a Delaware Chancellor, we owe these employees, and the public at large, complete transparency and closure.