TV has become increasingly serialized in recent years, but part of Criminal Minds‘ appeal was its ability to keep viewers coming back with an old school case of the week format. It would be weird for the writers to mess with the formula now, but if season 16 does turn out to be a limited series (at least to start), then it might make sense for the show to focus on one big case with a few smaller unsub side cases thrown in for good measure.
Season 16 could also provide the writers with an outlet to try riskier forms of storytelling that didn’t make sense in the final season. Shortly after the finale aired, Messer told Entertainment Weekly that the writers had toyed with the idea of including a format-smashing episode in the final season, but since they knew there were just 10 episodes left, they ultimately opted to play things safe.
“There was crazy stuff thrown out in the room, and we didn’t just shoot it down. We would say, ‘Okay, how could that happen?’ The idea of a live episode or… what do you call it?… a documentary film crew following the crew around,” she said. “We ended up exploring some of those, but ultimately we weren’t able to find a way to keep it true to the series.”
But now that season 16 of Criminal Minds could become a reality, the writers may have a chance to utilize some of their unconventional episode ideas while crafting a brand new beginning for the BAU.
The U.S. Department of Justice won’t pursue criminal charges against West Linn police or anyone else after investigating the 2017 wrongful arrest of Portland resident Michael Fesser, Oregon’s U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams announced Friday.
Williams said there was “insufficient evidence” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that officers “willfully violated” Fesser’s civil rights or federal public corruption laws. The FBI and federal prosecutors found they couldn’t prove officers acted with the specific intent to violate laws.
“It is not enough to show that an officer made a mistake, acted negligently, acted by accident or mistake, or even exercised bad judgment,” Williams said in a statement. “Here, the government cannot prove that the manner in which Mr. Fesser was arrested violated a federally protected right, or that the actions taken by law enforcement officials were willful as defined above.”
The decision comes a year after the Justice Department announced it would lead a civil rights investigation into Fesser’s arrest ontheft charges and nine days before Williams leaves office. Williams met with Fesser and his lawyer for more than an hour Friday morning.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office interviewed 18 people, including Fesser, current and former police officers, current and former West Linn city employees and community members in the investigation. It also examined about 28,000 pages of documents in response to 24 subpoenas for investigative, training, disciplinary, phone and financial records.
West Linn police arrested Fesser in an investigation instigated by former Police Chief Terry Timeus as a favor for a friend. The police chief’s friend was Fesser’s boss, Eric Benson, a West Linn resident and owner of A&B Towing Co. in Southeast Portland.
Benson targeted Fesser because Fesser had complained about racist comments and harassment at work. All theft charges against Fesser were dismissed, and Benson paid Fesser $415,000 to settle a separate civil suit.
Because the investigation “raised issues concerning the broader policies and practices of the West Linn Police Department, ” the U.S. Attorney’s Office has offered to connect West Linn and its police to federal technical assistance on national community oriented policing, Williams said.
West Linn and its police remain committed to “earning back the respect and trust of our community,” said Jerry Gabrielatos, West Linn’s city manager, in a statement.
Since the case was publicized, West Linn fired the lead investigator in the case, Sgt. Tony Reeves, and West Linn Chief Terry Kruger, who took the job in June 2018. Fesser’s notice of intent to sue West Linn police arrived on the first day Kruger started as chief.
Last May, the Clackamas County District Attorney’s Office said it would no longer call Reeves as a witness after finding he colluded with Timeus to pursue an unsupported arrest of Fesser for a personal friend of the chief’s.
That investigation also found that Reeves withheld key evidence, engaged in an illegal recording of Fesser, deleted racist and vulgar text messages he received from Fesser’s boss on his cellphone and disclosed Fesser’s confidential attorney-client information to Fesser’s boss.
West Linn police targeted Fesser using ” inappropriate and offensive investigative tactics, and lacked transparency, honesty and any sense of fair play,” the Clackamas County district attorney’s report said.
Paul Buchanan, Fesser’s lawyer, said he recognized the “high bar” required to support a federal criminal civil rights case and isn’t surprised by the outcome. He said he believes the federal inquiry was thorough.
“It’s healthy that local police had to undergo the scrutiny of this process from the federal government. I understand that, unfortunately, under current law, proving a federal criminal civil rights violation by the police is extraordinarily challenging,” Buchanan said. “As Cory Booker in the U.S. Senate has been advocating, we need a change in federal law to alter the kind of casual impunity that officers involved in this wrongful arrest displayed.”
Buchanan said he was disappointed that the U.S. Attorney’s office didn’t consider actions by then-West Linn Lt. Mike Stradley as criminal conduct,namely a November 2017 report Stradley made to his former colleagues at the Portland Police Bureau.
Stradley had contacted a Portland police gang enforcement officer that month after a grand jury indicted Fesser on first-degree theft charges. Stradley told the gang enforcement officer that there was a warrant for Fesser’s arrest and to be on alert because Fesser had made threats to assault his former boss, Benson, at A&B Towing, as well as Benson’s employees and made threats to “damage his business,” according to the police report.
That was blatantly false, Buchanan has argued, directly contradicting sworn statements that Stradley and Benson gave in the course of Fesser’s federal civil suit. Both said they had no knowledge of any threats Fesser had made.
Stradley’s information led Portland police to flag Fesser in the computer dispatch system as a potential danger.
“Mr. Benson repeatedly testified that Mr. Fesser had never threatened in him in any way. Stradley said that he knew virtually nothing about Mr. Fesser’s activities in the past several decades,” Buchanan said Friday.
“I believe Mike Stradley was attempting to bring about an aggressive arrest of Michael Fesser by making false statements in that police report. He put Michael’s life in danger. Maybe that doesn’t violate a federal criminal civil rights statute. But it should,”Buchanan said. “Making a false police report certainly violates Oregon state law. That should be especially true for a police officer.”
Stradley, who left West Linn police in 2018 to work as a training supervisor for the state’s basic police academy, was placed on paid leave a year ago. He remains on paid leave pending an “active investigation,” by the Oregon Department of Justice, said Linsay Hale, interim training director for the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training.
Buchanan said Stradley shouldn’t be allowed to return to teach “the next generation” of officers.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., who along with Oregon’s two U.S. senators had called for the federal inquiry into Fesser’s arrest, also expressed dismay on the outcome.
“I find it incredibly upsetting that Trump’s outgoing U.S. Attorney for Oregon has decided that he can’t make a case out on the clearly illegal and unjustified arrest of Michael Fesser,” Blumenauer said in a statement.
“However, in two weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would directly impact cases like this by making it easier for people to prove civil rights violations,” he said. “Mr. Fesser and all of those who have been wronged by police misconduct deserve justice.”
It was filed by Fort Bend County residents Mauricio and Daysi Marin. Mauricio Marin still relies on oxygen after recovering from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and alleges the utility provider did not adequately prepare him for an extended outage, according to a report from Law360.
“ERCOT’s forecast for the maximum electricity that would be consumed far under-estimated the reality,” the lawsuit said. “As a result, millions were plunged into darkness and cold as a result of a loss of electricity.”
Another lawsuit filed in Nueces County on Friday goes a step further, alleging ERCOT was aware of its energy supply’s weaknesses following similar winter outages in 1989 and 2011 and could have done more to winterize its system prior to the February 14 storm that left roughly 4 million Texans without electricity and heat at its peak. Millions of residents are still without water.
“This cold weather event and its effects on the Texas energy grid were neither unprecedented, nor unexpected, nor unforeseen,” the Nueces County suit alleges.
A spokeswoman for ERCOT said the committee hadn’t yet reviewed the lawsuits, but will respond accordingly once they do.
“Our thoughts are with all Texans who have and are suffering due to this past week,” the spokeswoman told Insider. “However, because approximately 46% of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout.”
ERCOT investigated past outages and recommended winterizing at-risk generators and production plants, the Nueces County suit says. In the winter of 2011, however, generators that failed in 1989 failed again, indicating that ERCOT’s previous mitigation efforts “were not adequate, or were not maintained,” according to an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee report in 2011 that is cited in the lawsuit.
“The massive amount of generator failures that were experienced raises the question whether it would have been helpful to increase reserve levels going into the event,” the 2011 FERC report said.
The suit alleges many of the same generators, transmitters, and distributors failed again starting February 14 in what could have been an avoidable catastrophe. The suit does not indicate the amount it is seeking from ERCOT and other energy providers.
Roughly 81,000 customers are still experiencing outages as of Saturday morning, according to a company that tracks outages across the state. Temperatures were forecast to rise on Saturday as well, providing some relief to Texans who had gone days without heat in freezing temperatures.
When the unusual winter storm struck the state power plants malfunctioned right when demand for electricity shot up as people tried to stay warm. As a result, ERCOT was forced to cut power to millions of households because there wasn’t enough energy to go around.
As of Saturday, at least 37 people had died as a result of the storm and the resulting outages, according to a NBC report Friday. Many died from carbon monoxide poisoning from household generators or in their cars while trying to stay warm, while others died from hypothermia and exposure to brutally cold temperatures. Many areas are still under a boil water notice, meaning drinking water could be contaminated, as much of the state’s grid comes back online.
Feb. 19 (UPI) — Paramount+, the new name for the streaming service CBS All Access, is trying to bring back Criminal Minds, the crime drama the CBS broadcast network canceled last year after 15 seasons.
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For fledgling lawyers striking out in 1980s Washington, DC, it was hard not to catch wind of Michael Kellogg.
Graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982, Kellogg had clerked for Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist before moving to New York to work for Rudy Giuliani, then a US attorney, as he prosecuted mafiosos from the Five Families.
Back in Washington, Kellogg was scooped up by Charles Fried, the US solicitor general. “I took the task of hiring assistants very seriously, and he had a wonderful profile,” Fried told Insider in a recent interview.
It was 1987 and the start of what would see Kellogg become one of Washington’s most admired, feared, and successful attorneys. Youth and legal prowess aside, it was clear to others that Kellogg was of a bygone era.
“He’s an example of the old-fashioned, truly civilized lawyer who cares for his soul, and for his community,” Fried said. “He’s also a very elegant man. The way he lives his life is elegant.”
In a personal reckoning that many prosecutors face, Kellogg left public service in 1990. Three years after joining the Mayer Brown law firm, he left, seeking more autonomy, founding his own firm with two Harvard Law classmates.
The rest is history. Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick is now one of the leading boutique firms in the US, known for its eye-watering $330,000 signing bonus for new associates who, like Kellogg, clerked for Supreme Court justices.
Going alone was a natural progression for Kellogg. “It meant being able to fashion the way you want to do things, to build your own shop on personal relations,” he told Law360 in 2014. That is the only interview he has given, and Kellogg declined multiple requests to be interviewed for this story.
At Kellogg Hansen, Kellogg attracted clients and spearheaded some of the firm’s headline wins. “Michael was the leading force when starting his own firm,” Roy Englert Jr., a founding partner at Robbins Russell and former colleague of Kellogg, told Insider.
“It is a leap of faith when you start a new firm, but it’s not the Herculean task that some might think it to be if you already have good client contacts and know what you’re selling.”
Saudi Arabia’s ‘clearing house’
One of those clients stands out from the rest in terms of scale and intrigue.
Kellogg’s relationship with the Saudis began after September 11, 2001, when the families of the 3,000 Americans killed that day sued several Saudi entities for damages totaling more than $5 billion.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say Saudi officials, charities, and businesses in some way supported the work of the terror cell. Saudi Arabia denies involvement in the attack, and the 9/11 Commission report, published in 2004, found no involvement by Saudi royals.
Kellogg, who was first hired in 2003 to represent the senior royal Prince Turki al-Faisal, labeled some of the early evidence alleging official Saudi involvement in the attacks “complete and utter garbage,” and sought to have the claims dismissed, with some success.
The public-relations battle following 9/11 has been more one-sided. Fifteen of the 19 attackers were Saudi, which initially made it hard for the kingdom to distance itself, though America’s perception of Saudi Arabia did slowly improve.
That lasted until 2017, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman came to power.
Some of those targets have sued the crown prince in the US, meaning Kellogg’s workload has reached colossal levels. As a result, his role has also morphed.
“Michael Kellogg is a clearinghouse for Saudi matters,” one Washington lawyer told Insider, adding that Kellogg effectively served as a quasi-outside general counsel to Saudi leadership, delegating work to other lawyers or taking it himself. This person requested anonymity to speak candidly, but their identity is known to Insider.
The list of grievances against Kellogg’s clients is long.
In October 2019, the son of a US military helicopter pilot killed by Al Qaeda in Iraq in 2005 also sued Saudi Arabia, accusing it of providing support to the terrorist group. Kellogg moved to dismiss his claims later that year.
The 9/11 lawsuit is elapsing at a snail’s pace, but Kellogg has already successfully defended Prince Turki, who was accused of helping the kingdom’s leadership sign deals with Osama bin Laden that would see Al Qaeda refrain from carrying out attacks on Saudi soil. At a private dinner in 2006, Prince Turki stood up to thank Kellogg, who was in attendance, for “getting me off the hook,” The Washington Post reported at the time.
‘How can a guy like this sleep at night?’
Lawyers and law firms who represent controversial clients are often criticized for doing so. Kellogg is no exception, especially when it comes to those who lost loved ones on 9/11.
“When we speak about Michael Kellogg, the sentiment among many of us is the same: How can a guy like this sleep at night, knowing that he is defending people accused of murdering Americans?” Brett Eagleson, whose father, Bruce, was killed on 9/11 and who is among those suing Saudi Arabia, told Insider.
Once, at a courthouse in the Southern District of New York, the relative of a 9/11 victim confronted Kellogg after noticing him in the elevator. That person went up to Kellogg, telling him “one day God will judge him,” Eagleson said.
In another rebuke, Sarah Lee Whitson, the executive director of DAWN, the organization dreamed up by Khashoggi before his death, told Insider: “Lawyers in the US are prohibited from putting forward false evidence or allowing their clients to perjure themselves, and it’s hard to see how Kellogg can avoid this given the facts we already know.”
“Ethics and law dictate that Mr. Kellogg should urge his Saudi client MBS to remedy the crimes he’s committed as minimally as these civil cases allow, rather than aid him in evading justice with lies,” she added.
It has become increasingly common to see lawyers being criticized for their choice of clients. Last November, as the law firm Jones Day represented President Donald Trump’s campaign to overturn the results of the US election, protesters held signs outside its New York office reading: “Jones Day is killing democracy for profit.”
For many, attacking legal representatives undermines the very essence of democracy. “It’s deeply un-American and deeply inconsistent with our constitution,” Alan Dershowitz, an attorney who has represented Trump, Jeffrey Epstein, and Harvey Weinstein, told Insider. “Without lawyers there is nothing standing between the government and tyranny.”
Kellogg is not the type to blur the lines between client and attorney — in fact, he is widely respected for his integrity. “You can keep your distance and do your work, and provide excellent counsel, and cross no lines, and I’m sure that is the case with Michael,” said Fried, his former boss.
Of the Saudi cases, Fried said: “It doesn’t surprise me and it doesn’t disappoint me.”
Kellogg, a native of Atherton, California, was slightly late in committing to the law. His undergraduate degree — philosophy at Stanford University — led to a master’s at Oxford University.
After that, Kellogg ended his philosophical pursuits in favor of Harvard Law, at least until 2010, when he revived them in a series of philosophy books that, he told Law360, he wrote piecemeal in the hour before starting work each morning.
“I have never lost the nagging feeling that philosophy still has much to tell us about how we should live our lives,” Kellogg wrote in the preface of his 2010 debut, “Three Questions We Never Stop Asking.”
Kellogg is working through the philosophical canon, having since published “The Greek Search For Wisdom,” “The Roman Search for Wisdom,” “The Wisdom of the Middle Ages,” and “The Wisdom of the Renaissance.”
These books, according to Fried, are a direct manifestation of Kellogg’s conscience: “They were obviously his internal monologues with himself, and his search for wisdom and a good way to live,” Fried said.
To that end, Kellogg keeps a low profile in the hypersocial, hyperpolitical world of Washington. He has attributed much of his success to his family, thanking them profusely in the prefaces of his books.
He and his wife have contributed generously to philanthropic causes in Washington and beyond. From 2006 to 2018, the pair donated as much as $100,000 annually to the International Rescue Committee, records show. Kellogg is also a member of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, a Washington education foundation set up by Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd US president.
Small hints of Kellogg’s political allegiances are littered around campaign-funding archives. From 1997 to 2012, Kellogg donated to the election campaigns of the Republicans George W. Bush, Mike DeWine, Phil Gramm, John McCain, and Giuliani, his former mentor, records show. Since 2012, however, Kellogg has backed Democratic candidates, including Tim Kaine, Federal Election Commission filings show.
‘A brilliant legal mind’
Back in the professional realm, Kellogg is regarded by his contemporaries as an exceptional lawyer and remains one of the US’s foremost telecommunications experts, known for his landmark wins representing AT&T, American Express, and Bell Atlantic.
Beyond the victories it is hard to glean much of Kellogg’s legal motivations. He has given just one substantial interview, to Law360, and does not comment publicly on active cases. But in that interview Kellogg outlined his approach.
“My personal style is definitely to be aggressive and blunt and to press hard because, frankly, by the time I’m standing up there I’m absolutely convinced my view is correct, and I’m eager to get the chance to explain to the court why,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful aspect of my practice that I’m always representing the client that’s right.”
In his arguments, Kellogg doesn’t confuse detail with depth. “So many lawyers think that what you need to do in order to make a point is to say it over and over again,” Fried told Insider. “The other way is to say it once, in a way that you don’t forget it. That would be Mike’s style.”
Assistants to the solicitor general often help one another prepare their Supreme Court arguments, and Englert, another of Fried’s old assistants, told Insider: “He was very, very good.” Scott Knudson, a partner at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP who overlapped with Kellogg under Rehnquist, said Kellogg was “an excellent writer, and a brilliant legal mind.” David Jaffe, a lawyer who clerked for Rehnquist after Kellogg, described him as “extremely disciplined” and “supremely confident.”
Surprisingly — and at odds with his sincere, thrusting manner in court — Kellogg is also known around Washington for his ability to hold a tune. “A talented singer,” Jaffe remembered. “He loved opera.”
With the lawsuits facing the Saudi crown prince, Kellogg has his work cut out, and his fair share of criticism to shoulder. Yet he has still found the time to be successful and find meaning outside the law.
Indeed, in March 2019, Fried, the former US solicitor general, invited Kellogg to return to Harvard and talk to students as a distinguished alumnus.
“To talk about the life of a lawyer,” Fried told Insider. “And how that is not inconsistent with self-reflection and a search for wisdom and a search for virtue.”
But for Eagleson, the son of the 9/11 victim, Kellogg’s choice of client has undermined that search.
“I think it’s unfathomable,” he said, “and I think somewhere along the way Michael Kellogg lost his way.”
Harry Bring, a TV producer who worked on shows including Criminal Minds and The X-Files, died Tuesday at age 77. According to his son, Brad Bring, who announced his death in a Facebook post, Bring had battled cancer for years.
“Today we lost a legend at 77 years young. Harry Bring succumbed to a life full of laughter and hard work, dedication to family and friends and the love he had for Rhonda Leeds-Bring,” Bring’s son wrote. “He fought cancer for years and kicked its ass. That let him enjoy USC, the SF Giants, the Rams, hating on 45 and his grandkids a little longer. He embodied the Fight ON spirit of the Trojans.”
According to Brad, prior to getting his start in the entertainment industry, Bring “was a cut-up in school” and “straightened out in the Army which changed his life.” He would later go on to serve as second assistant director on early ’80s films including Mr. Mom and Strange Brew before the transition to work in TV, according to Deadline. He served as a second assistant director on the series Max Headroom from 1987-1988, and later became first assistant director on series including Northern Exposure, Melrose Place, and The X-Files, which he worked on from 1998-2002.
Bring’s career continued through the 2000s, during which time he became a producer. He notably worked as an executive producer and co-executive producer on CBS’ hit police procedural drama Criminal Minds from 2011 to 2020. Variety reports he worked on 139 episodes as a co-executive producer from 2011 to 2017 and later contributed to 47 episodes as an executive producer from 2017 to the show’s finale in 2020.
Reflecting on his father’s career, Bring’s son said he “loved work.” He added, “If you asked him what his favorite crew was, it was always the one we was working with right now. Max Headroom, Melrose Place, The X-Files, Army Wives and Criminal Minds were his biggest projects.”
“I have never felt a pain so deep and cried so hard in all my life. I take solice in knowing he’s with his mom and dad, his sister and brother and smiling down on us all, pain free and cracking fart jokes. I held his hand until the end,” Brad wrote. “I have 50 years to remember the ways he made me belly laugh and for that I’m grateful.”
Bring’s other credits include the Lifetime drama Army Wives, a series on which he served as an executive producer and co-executive producer across 68 episodes from 2007 to 2010. In 2011, he was a co-executive producer on the Freddy Rodríguez-Eric Close CIA drama Chaos. Bring is also credited with work on Head Cases, The Lyon’s Den, and several others.
UNITED NATIONS – More than 120 countries elected British Pakistani lawyer Karim Khan Feb. 12 as the next prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, one of the toughest jobs in international law because the tribunal seeks justice for the world’s worst atrocities – war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
His election on the second secret ballot by the 123 parties to the Rome Statute that established the court ends a drawn-out and divisive process to replace Fatou Bensouda when her nine-year term expires in June.
Khan, who has specialized in international criminal law and international human rights law, was widely seen as the favorite to get the job. But neither he nor any of the other candidates garnered enough support to be appointed by consensus, prompting the Feb. 12 election in the U.N. General Assembly Hall.
When Michal Mlynar, vice-president of the court’s Assembly of State Parties, announced that Khan had won, a smattering of applause broke out in the hall, where masked diplomats had voted one by one, putting ballots into spaced out boxes because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Khan received 72 votes, far more than the majority needed, Fergal Gaynor of Ireland was second with 42 votes, followed by Spain’s Carlos Castresana Fernandez with 5 votes and Francesco Lo Voi of Italy with 3 votes. One member did not vote.
Khan currently leads a U.N. team set up to investigate allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by the Islamic State group in Iraq and has the rank of a U.N. assistant secretary-general. He has worked as a prosecutor at the tribunal prosecuting war crimes in former Yugoslavia and crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda.
Khan is no stranger to the International Criminal Court, known as the ICC, having acted as a defense lawyer for Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and persuading judges to throw out prosecution charges against his client. Gaynor acted as a legal representative for victims in the Ruto case, which focused on post-election violence.
Khan also served as counsel for Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of the late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, who is still being sought by the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity.
“Karim Khan’s election as prosecutor is occurring at a time when the ICC is needed more than ever but has faced significant challenges and pressure on its role,” said Richard Dicker, international justice director at Human Rights Watch. “We will be looking to Mr. Khan to address shortcomings in the court’s performance, while demonstrating firm independence in seeking to hold even the most powerful rights abusers to account.”
Dicker said in an interview that “the court in 18 years has established itself as the permanent address for accountability for the most egregious crimes.”
In the last several years, Bensouda has sought to broaden its reach beyond its early all-African focus including Afghanistan, Palestine, which is a party to the Rome Statute, and Georgia.
The ICC is needed more than ever, he said, “because of the proliferation of these horrific crimes,” but the court has faced “an existential threat” from former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.
Dyal Capital Partners invested and lent a total of $925 million to private-equity firm Veritas Capital last year in a deal structured in a way that disadvantaged the family of its late founder, according to claims in a new lawsuit.
Family members of Robert McKeon, who founded Veritas in 1992 after a period at the boutique investment bank Wasserstein Perella, claim the firm’s principals wouldn’t share information that they needed to vet the Dyal deal before it closed last October. The McKeon family said details that have come to light show they were deprived of at least $20 million.
The McKeons’ lawsuit, filed in New York state court on Wednesday, says Veritas CEO Ramzi Musallam, managing partner Hugh Evans and partner Benjamin Polk structured the deal in a way that meant Dyal’s $200 million loan reduced the value of Veritas. In addition to the loan, Dyal paid $725 million for a 11.79% stake in Veritas, which allegedly should have been higher.
It also claims Musallam, Evans and Polk “are distributing the proceeds from the loan among themselves.” Under the terms of an agreement the principals signed in late 2012, shortly after Robert McKeon’s death, 10% of that amount should have flowed to the McKeons or their trusts, according to the lawsuit.
Veritas is known for its investments in defense contractors, the software industry, and education companies, including a recent $3.4 billion deal to add business lines from Northrop Grumman to its portfolio company Peraton. It listed about $20 billion under management on its most recent Form ADV.
Dyal, a unit of asset manager Neuberger Berman that has lent to and taken stakes in dozens of alternative asset managers, is not named as a defendant in the suit. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.
The Veritas case comes on the heels of an action filed by the investing firm Sixth Street Partners to stop a merger between Dyal, which owns part of Sixth Street, and Owl Rock Capital Partners, one of Sixth Street’s competitors. Dyal and Owl Rock revealed plans in December to go public via a special purpose acquisition company that would dub the combined entity Blue Owl.
The McKeons, who are represented by Joshua Polster and Craig Waldman from the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, also allege that they were cheated out of a portion of the equity part of Dyal’s investment in Veritas. That amount is about $13.2 million, according to figures given in the lawsuit, although the complaint doesn’t explicitly say that amount is owed.
The McKeon family members suing include Matthew J. McKeon, Clare McKeon, Jacqueline McKeon, Alexander McKeon, James McKeon and Robert McKeon Jr.
A spokesman for Veritas said the firm “will vigorously defend against this baseless lawsuit.”