10/21/2010Traffic Camera CEO Sues Defunct Speed Camera Company
Former Nestor CEO files federal lawsuit to recover back salary after the company he founded fired him in 2007.
William B. Danzell, the former CEO of Nestor Traffic Systems, is still upset about being fired in 2007. Nestor went bankrupt last year and was bought out by American Traffic Solutions (ATS), but Danzell still wants the back salary he says he is owed. Earlier this month, Danzell's case was transferred to the US District Court for the District of Rhode Island for a hearing before Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi. Danzell has been trying to get his money since filing his case in South Carolina in July 2008.
Under his contract, Danzell was to be employed until December 31, 2009 unless fired for cause. The board of directors removed him on May 17, 2007 without cause. With a guaranteed salary of $250,000 per year, Danzell believes he is entitled to $656,849 from the failed company.
"Defendant, Nestor Inc, effected plaintiff's termination by simply advising him in a letter that he had been terminated," Danzell's lawyer, Mark DeSisto, wrote in his brief to the court. "Defendant, Nestor Inc's termination of the plaintiff violated the employment agreement."
Nestor denied all claims against the company, insisting that the employment agreement spoke for itself and that Danzell had broken its terms. Nestor's lawyers succeeded in tying up the case by having it thrown out of the South Carolina court because the contract with the Rhode Island company specified that cases would be heard in the Ocean State.
Under Danzell's watch, Nestor lost $1,509,000 in the first quarter of 2007. Under new management, the company was unable to escape its debt load and went bankrupt in June 2009. Danzell has since re-entered the automated enforcement business by forming iTraffic, a firm based in Ridgeland, South Carolina. The venture has issued a substantial number of speeding tickets on Interstate 95, but the profit may not last long.
State legislators are irate that the city is openly flouting a statute enacted to outlaw speed cameras in South Carolina. The state attorney general has even issued opinions (view opinion) declaring the iTraffic program unlawful. It is unclear how long the program can last until a ticket recipient sues the city in a state court.