In Nevada and the man behind the coming $2.5 billion The Drew Las Vegas casino resort is reportedly being sued over claims that he has not honored the contracts of five former executives he sacked amid the state’s coronavirus-related lockdown.
According to a Thursday report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper, the lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court alleges that Steve Witkoff (pictured) had ‘aggressively recruited’ the five in February via lengthy deals that had promised six-figure salaries and a range of bonuses. The plaintiffs purportedly allege that these agreements moreover contained clauses that guaranteed they would be paid for the remainder of their terms unless they were justly fired for cause.
However, the newspaper reported that plaintiffs Farid Matraki, Robert Mancari, Michael Tozzi and Paul Berry claim that they were unexpectedly released from their positions with the Las Vegas Strip development on March 31 with fellow petitioner Michael Peltyn receiving his own marching orders some seven days later. These actions purportedly began some two weeks after Witkoff had suspended construction on the 67-story The Drew Las Vegas so as to abide by a coronavirus-induced lockdown order issued by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the legal action from the five former employees furthermore contends that Witkoff subsequently did not honor the pay clauses contained within their contracts and had alternatively asked them to forfeit all future remuneration claims in exchange for only two months’ wages.
The newspaper reported that the lawsuit, which also names Alex Witkoff, Executive Vice-President for The Drew Las Vegas, as well as the 24.5-acre development’s Chief Executive, Robert Baldwin, as defendants, is asking for a judgement that would see the five awarded with their full outstanding salaries.
The filing of the grievance, which additionally names Chris Nordling, Chief Financial Officer for The Drew Las Vegas, as a defendant, came a little over three weeks after several contractors filed liens against Witkoff amid claims that they are still owed tens of millions of dollars for work they completed on the under-construction Nevada facility.
Paul Trimmer works as an attorney for Witkoff’s team and reportedly told the newspaper that this latest lawsuit ‘has no merit’ and that the defendants now intend to contest its claims ‘vigorously.’