Becker front and center
Jack Hughes, a finance professional hired by the IAFF-FC to create an investment program, was terminated by them one day after sending a complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission related to unethical practices.
He later filed a Federal lawsuit in which he alleges wrongful termination, retaliation and defamation.
The defendants are the IAFF-FC and Kurt Becker and Baystate Financial Services and David Porter. Becker is the chief financial officer of the IAFF-FC and Porter is a managing partner at Baystate.
The IAFF-FC is a wholly owned subsidiary of the IAFF.
Hughes alleges that Becker demanded that he pursue improper payments from companies wishing to do business with IAFF-FC, terming such payments as “pay-to-play” and “kick-backs.”
When Hughes declined to seek the payments and suggested that the IAFF-FC create the investment programs for their own merit, he says Becker remarked, “the juice is not worth the squeeze”, implying that the exercise was really about the pay-to-play aspect.
Becker apparently sought $250,000 each from various companies.
Hughes says one of the firms, Baystate, agreed to pay-to-play and then proceeded to defame and undermine him with Becker. He refers to their actions as “clandestine maneuverings.”
The plot thickens considerably with Hughes’ revelation that he learned about Baystate’s alleged actions from none other than Becker.
If so, this puts Becker in a precarious position.
Hughes also claims that Baystate accused him of taking bribes from other interested companies, a claim also relayed to him by Becker.
By the way, it’s said the phrase “the juice is not worth the squeeze” is one Ed Kelly, IAFF president, has been known to employ, leading one person to speculate that Becker was parroting Kelly.
Given the circumstances, it’s Becker who may end up being squeezed.
In addition to Becker’s alleged mistreatment of Hughes, he must also contend with the imputation that he is a source regarding Baystate’s defamatory statements.
This could put him at odds with co-defendant Baystate.
Baystate may either refute or at least minimize their alleged negative comments about Hughes which could isolate Becker.
But why would Becker manufacture false information from a prospective source of cash?
If Hughes proves Becker was relaying false information from Baystate about him, one IAFF strategy could be to disown Becker’s statements or actions as being improper or outside his scope of duties, further isolating him.
The latter case makes him subject to Ed Kelly’s sense of loyalty, a mighty thin reed indeed.
And if the Hughes charges have merit, why should Becker expect loyalty from Kelly which he denied Hughes?
I can think of two people, whose last names start with the letter “L” and end with an “A” who could readily tell Becker that relying on Kelly for a show of loyalty is a fool’s errand.
Perhaps in lieu of Kelly, Becker, as a Missouri resident, can look to IAFF vice president Mark Woolbright to have his back.