Las Vegas Sands Accused of “Sabotage” in Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs Case
Posted on: January 25, 2016, 04:53h.
Last updated on: January 25, 2016, 05:41h.
Las Vegas Sands (LVS) has been accused of employing delaying tactics in its ongoing legal spat with former Sands China CEO Steven Jacobs.
Jacobs, who is suing his former employer for wrongful termination, filed an emergency motion last week in an attempt to prevent any further circumvention from LVS in a case that has stretched on for five years.
Jacobs’ attorney Tod Brice accused LVS of trying to “sabotage his [client’s] rights to trial” by repeatedly seeking to delay the proceedings through “improper and illegal maneuvering.”
Jacobs sued LVS and its CEO Sheldon Adelson shortly after he was fired in 2010. He claims he was dismissed for “for blowing the whistle on improprieties and placing the interests of shareholders above those of Adelson.”
These improprieties include, according to Jacobs, alleged business deals with triad figures, as well as bribes to Chinese officials.
Meanwhile, Adelson has accused Jacobs of attempting to blackmail the company, and of “squealing like a pig to the government.” He claims the former China Sands CEO was fired for no other reason than “incompetency.”
Jacob’s motion is a reaction to LVS’ attempt last week to have the case reassigned to a different judge, the third time the company’s lawyers have requested reassignment.
LVS said that “recent intensified media coverage of the lawsuit” offered “new grounds” for requesting current judge Elizabeth Gonzalez’s disqualification.
“After years of apparent silence, the court has responded to that media coverage by contributing to the coverage,” it said. “That participation raises doubts about the court’s impartiality and objectivity.”
The media coverage in question surrounds Adelson’s controversial purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and the fact that shortly before that acquisition was finalized, top brass at the paper demanded that R-J reporters drop everything to monitor three Nevada judges, one of whom was Gonzalez.
An article criticizing Gonzalez later appeared in a small Connecticut newspaper owned by Michael Schroeder, the man hired to manage News + Media Capital Group, the company hastily incorporated by Adelson to run the Review-Journal.
“From at least November 30, 2015, until the present day, this case has been the subject of saturated media coverage prompted by a change in ownership of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which has no bearing on the resolution of Steven C. Jacobs’s claim that he was wrongfully terminated from employment in Macau in July 2010,” states the LVS motion.
Gonzalez responded that she had neither “a bias toward [n]or prejudice against” LVS. While she acknowledged that she had responded to two media requests relating to the events surrounding the R-J acquisition, one from TIME Magazine and one from the Review-Journal itself, she “did not discuss a particular litigant or case.”
Nevertheless, the motion prompted Gonzalez to suspend the case until the Chief District Judge rules on the matter in February.
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