This Just In: Monongalia County

By Donna Kisner | Feb 15, 2008

Feb. 12
Alexander L. Rice v. The Pines Country Club, Inc., Deborah Fulton, President of the Board of Directors of the Pines Country Club and Neil S. Bucklew
PA-Kelly Reed; J-n/a
* Alexander Rice was employed as General Manager of The Pines County Club, on the terms of a one-year contract from January 2006 to December 2006. At the end of that time, Rice was offered another one-year contract, beginning January 12, 2007 and ending in December 2007. During his term of employment, he had discussed the need for increase of membership dues and fees with board president Deborah Fulton. Rice explained that without this increase, membership would decrease. Soon after that conversation, Rice experienced problems with Deborah Fulton, which he alleges were the undermining of his efforts, failure to observe rules, regulations and protocol of the Board of Directors and breach of confidentiality. He claims Fulton also began to question someone stealing from The Pines, inferring that it was Rice. Fulton also requested her husband, former WVU President Neil Bucklew; obtain Rice's transcripts from the University. This was done without Rice's consent, violating the Family Educational and Right to Privacy Act. After Bucklew obtained the transcripts, he turned them over to Fulton who distributed them to various members of the Board of Directors. Bucklew himself is not a member of the Board of Directors. Fulton claimed Rice misrepresented information on his resume and requested he be fired based on alleged discrepancies between his transcript and resume. After Board Members questioned Fulton on how the transcript was obtained, she explained the transcript was public information. Rice also alleges Fulton made significant changes in the accounting methods, creating a false and misleading financial picture of the Pines. Rice advise the board members the change in the accounting method was not the standard adopted in country club financial management systems. Rice was terminated on March 23, 2007, some three months after the Pines entered into a second one-year contract with him. He is seeking judgment for any damages incurred, punitive damages, pre- and post-judgement interest.
Case number: 08-C-104

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