Friday, August 20, 2010

The CEO, his Publicist and the Private Eye

He was described by top US talk show host Larry King as "the best in the business",
Monte on 'Good Morning America'
Frank Monte the private investigator who has now been linked with the David Jone's case involving former CEO Mark McInnes, who recently resigned from his $8M job and former DJ's publicist Kirsty Fraser-Kirk who has alleged she was sexually harassed by McInnes and is asking for a whopping $37 million in damages.

In the lawsuit filed in the Federal Court there are 11 defendants including McInnes. Earlier this week the Daily Telegraph broke the story that Monte had been hired and paid a substantial sum to investigate the back ground of Fraser-Kirk.

McInnes & Megan Gale
He then gave a raft of radio interviews confirming the story whilst saying at the time that he would neither confirm or deny who his client was. As of yesterday Monte was taking no more media requests for interviews and has turned down several TV station requests.

One daily newspaper speculated about Monte's involvement in the case and published a story that both David Jones and McInnes had denied hiring Monte but as the gumshoe pointed out to us this morning, he had specifically stated that he would not say who his client was.

The Shuttle spoke to a well know solicitor on Wednesday ( he asked not to be named) who has worked on several harassment cases and he  pointed out that there could be any number of prospective clients who could become involved in the case and use the services of a private eye.

Kirsty Fraser-Kirk
" Firstly there is the obvious- 11 defendants who would most likely  be represented by one firm of solicitors and a barrister but each individual, particularly as they are high profile directors of the department store chain would have their own counsel as well. They may not even know who is hired on their behalf  "

" Then there any number of insurance companies, large shareholders in the listed company, individual shareholders and clients of David Jones including those with a vested interest in the financial well being of the department store chain. 
Such as a supplier who may have millions of dollars in stock supplies involved and are anxious that there are no boats rocked by the scandal. They in turn could have their own insurance companies "

" It's like a pebble thrown into the pond of  lawsuits and the vested interests radiates outwards.  Even on a normal case this happens but this looks set to a very special matter with the claim of $37M in damages . The fallout will be immense, whether the case is proved or not, for there not to be covert investigations of every person involved. And there is the share price of the chain store to consider" said our legal source.

On 2 radio interviews with Sydney's 2GB's Money News with Ross Greenwood, a noted financial journalist  and on 1377AM with Steve Vizard in Melbourne both announcers voiced similar sentiments as the solicitor. ( Vizard's  interview can be heard here)

One matter we brought up with the solicitor was the fact that, why would there would be a leaking  to the media of the fact that a high profile private eye like Monte  was on the case ?.

"Surely this would be counter productive ?" we asked " particularly as it is meant to be a 'covert'" surveillance"

" Not in the least" said the legal eagle. '"In fact it could have been quite deliberate to either rattle the other side or be like a clarion call to any interested party to supply information-and that Monte is the repository starting point. Monte's probably not actually doing the foot work himself, most likely overseeing the matter".

At Mid-day today Monte said he would show us some documents as long as we signed a confidentially agreement to never disclose the name involved. 

At a city coffee shop he produced  several emails from a high profile business group commissioning Monte for the job with a host of details and suggestions. of required information  And bank documents that verify that indeed, a 'substantial sum' had been paid into his business bank account by wire transfer from that firm.

 But even more interesting were a host of emails that Monte had received in the days following the media clamor about his involvement-from former family members and associates of the Fraser-Kirk family in Zimbabwe and the UK offering information. Some of it. to put it mildly is sensational!

As they say, the plot thickens.
We have unearthed an interview with Frank Monte on Kerri-Anne-Kennerley's show  talking about the paranormal !.

Tweet of the day : KRuddMP
Yesterday campaigning with Maxine McKew. I spoke with the Chinese community, i find my Chinese is increasingly rusty. KRudd