Back when Jerry Powers agreed to take the reigns as CEO of Plum TV, he had to pay Niche Media, the luxury publishing company he sold Ocean Drive magazine to, $3.5 million to get out of a non-compete clause in his contract. Now that he's resigned from Plum TV after claiming he was misled about the sate of the company's finances, he's suing the company's founders, Tom and Emily Scott, for more than $3.5 million.
Powers founded Ocean Drive back in the '80s, but sold "the bible of South Beach" to Niche Media in 2007. The terms of the sale stipulated that Powers couldn't be involved in similar magazines. He paid Niche $3.5 million to get out of the clause, and once he was atop Plum he announced a plan to move the luxury chain of local television networks into the magazine biz.
Powers abruptly resigned in September. At the time he told The Miami Herald, "After I started, the board gave us $4 million, but they didn't tell me about the $6.7 million in unpaid bills. The board put in another $5 million this year, and that ran out two weeks ago. On Thursday, the board refused more funding."
Shortly after Powers' resignation the company laid off a large number of its staff, ceased immediate plans to continue with most of their new magazines, and halted production on new content for the TV stations.
According to the New York Post, he's now suing Plum founders Tom and Emily Scott for in excess of $3.5 million.
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On the latest suit, Powers' lawyer, Ronald Lowy, said that the Scotts interfered with Powers' ability to serve as CEO by, among other things, concealing that the company was in such a perilous financial condition. The suit also claims the company owes back taxes and had put friends and relatives on the company payroll.
"Mr. Powers has been wronged, and he is going to court to rectify the situation," said Lowy.
A judge recently relocated the lawsuit to a Miami-Dade court.