MUST READ: New Report Finds Bernie Moreno’s Defense For Destroying Evidence Isn’t True
February 5, 2024
Mother Jones: Moreno blames “liberal judges” but they were “largely appointed by Republicans”
Columbus, OH – New reporting today finds Bernie Moreno’s defense for destroying evidence is not true. Moreno has blamed “liberal,” “activist,” “lunatic” judges for losing a jury trial that found he had withheld overtime wages but the fact is the “judges were largely appointed by Republicans.”
“Refusing to pay overtime, destroying evidence he was legally required to keep and now lying about why he was forced to pay his former employees – Moreno is showing Ohioans exactly why they cannot trust him,” said ODP spokesperson Katie Smith. “Moreno’s latest lies prove that Moreno doesn’t believe the rules apply to him and is only out for himself.”
Mother Jones: A GOP Senate Candidate Blames “Liberal” Judges for His Labor Violations. Just One Problem With That
February 5, 2024
- As the former operator of M11 Motors, a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Burlington, Massachusetts, Moreno was found liable by a jury for […] Withholding at least $53,500 in overtime wages from two employees between 2015 and 2018 and shredding company documents relevant to the lawsuit while the case was ongoing.
- Lately, he has falsely blamed his legal troubles on the “liberal” and “activist” judges involved in the outcome of his case.
- But there’s a problem with Moreno’s defense: it isn’t true.
- The judge overseeing Moreno’s jury trial, Michael Ricciuti, was no liberal activist. He was a Republican-appointed jurist who also served as chief of the anti-terrorism and national security unit of the Boston US Attorney’s office under President George W. Bush.
- The state supreme court that later upheld a wage regulation requiring employers like Moreno to pay sales staff overtime was also predominantly conservative.
- Since 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Labor has required that car salesmen are entitled to overtime pay even when they receive salary and commissions, and that sales commissions do not count toward overtime.
- That law contributed to a whopping judgment in Moreno’s case, with a jury finding him liable for withholding wages from both employees in the suit in 2022, forcing him to pay $416,160 in damages. (Moreno eventually settled at least a dozen additional wage-theft cases for undisclosed amounts.)
- During the proceedings, Moreno was also found by Ricciuti, the Republican-appointed judge, to have shredded company documents related to the case that Moreno and his lawyers “were required to preserve” and “knew or should have known [were] relevant.”
- The plaintiffs’ argument was strengthened by a 2019 Massachusetts State Supreme Court ruling on a related case about sales staff and overtime wages. In that case, Sullivan vs. Sleepy’s, the court unanimously determined that sales staff were entitled to overtime wages.
- But of the seven-judge state supreme court that unanimously upheld the wage regulation, five judges were appointed by then-Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican.
- Moreno’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on why he has repeatedly stated that activist judges caused a jury to side against him for wage theft.