After having spent weeks touting his record as a businessman on the campaign trail, Wisconsin Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik is now facing new scrutiny about his shady business connections. A new report by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that Gronik’s business career ended with a contentious legal fight after his longtime business partner filed a lawsuit accusing him of engaging in “unjust enrichment” while calling his conduct “illegal, oppressive and fraudulent” after he missed hundreds of work days while still receiving over $1 million in compensation. Gronik has constantly pointed to his experience as a businessman on the campaign trail, but if his closest associate levelled these scathing accusations and even filed a lawsuit against him, it’s clear that his phony talk doesn’t match reality.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
After being fired by his father at an early age, Gronik and a longtime business partner, Richard Schmitt, formed two profitable companies, AccuVal Associates and LiquiTec Industries, in 1988. The two overlapping businesses, one an appraisal firm and the other a liquidation outfit, had more than 70 workers in 14 locations.
But Gronik’s business career ended in a bitter war of words.
In 2012, Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Gronik for missing hundreds of days of work while still drawing an annual salary and benefits of more than $1 million.
Schmitt accused Gronik, whom he had known since high school, of engaging in ‘unjust enrichment.’…
In the end, Gronik sold his interest in the business to Schmitt for an undisclosed sum…
Schmitt and Gronik tried unsuccessfully to reach a deal on a repayment plan for Gronik, leading to a brief but heated showdown in late September 2012. Gronik, meanwhile, alleged that Schmitt had employees secretly monitoring Gronik’s company emails to tally the number of personal messages.
On Oct. 1, 2012, Schmitt emailed Gronik to say he was firing Gronik and cutting off his family’s health insurance. Gronik showed up at the office later that day, arguing that his Crohn’s disease had become manageable. The tensions only rose from there…
Schmitt labeled Gronik’s conduct ‘illegal, oppressive and fraudulent.’ He argued that all employees were required to put in at least 30 hours a week.
‘Gronik has acted in his own selfish best interest and to the detriment of AccuVal, LiquiTec, and the other shareholder, Schmitt, by wrongfully accepting (a) salary, cash disbursements, and benefits … while failing to perform work for AccuVal and LiquiTec,’ Schmitt’s attorneys wrote on Oct. 19, 2012.