Morning Money Memo…
Dov Charney plans to fight his ouster as CEO and chairman of American Apparel. Charney’s lawyer accused the board of directors of illegally firing him last week, says The Los Angeles Times. In a 5-0 vote the board agreed to replace Charney after “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.” Charney is facing claims of sexual harassment brought against him by several women. He was cited for improper use of company funds and the board also found that he allegedly helped leak nude photographs of a former worker who was suing him. Video of Charney dancing naked in front of employees was recently posted online.
One of Europe’s biggest banks is facing a huge U.S. fine for sanctions busting. BNP Paribas has reached the outlines of an agreement with federal prosecutors in which the bank would pay $8 billion to $9 billion and accept other punishments, according to published reports. U.S. authorities investigated evidence BNP Paribas violated sanctions against Sudan and hid billions of dollars of illegal financial transactions. The bank is expected to enter a guilty plea. “Negotiations between the French bank and U.S. authorities have entered their final stage, according to people close to the discussions,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
The FCC is proposing the largest fine in its history to a Chinese retailer accused of signal jamming. CTS Technology will have to pay about $35 million for allegedly selling illegal devices designed to block radio signals – including emergency communications, GPS, cellphone calls, satellite radio, and Wi-Fi. CTS was reportedly found out after selling 10 of these devices directly to FCC personnel.
A contract expiration date looms for nearly 20,000 workers at West Coast ports and it’s making business owners anxious. Contentious issues include benefits and job security. Cargo for the back-to-school and holiday seasons begins to arrive soon. Negotiators on both sides say talks will likely continue beyond the June 30 deadline. Jittery retailers aren’t taking any chances. Stung by a lockout in 2002 that shuttered the ports for 10 days, some importers have shifted to ports on the Gulf and East Coasts, or they’ve brought goods in early for back-to-school and holiday shopping.
Artists and environmentalists in northwestern New Mexico are concerned oil and gas drilling is encroaching on the black, white and gray hills made famous in Georgia O’Keeffe’s drawings and paintings. While the “Black Place” itself remains untouched, The New Mexican reports that there are dozens of drilling tanks 500 yards from the site and it’s surrounded by rigs and a maze of dusty dirt roads traveled by oilfield workers. The head of the O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, Robert Kret, says he had a preliminary discussion with state preservation officials and another meeting is planned. But state officials say it’s not clear what could be done to protect the Black Place. The area is located on federal land just east of the Navajo community of Nageezi.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow