One of My Favorite Events

slash&hj sweden

Henry and Slash in Sweden Royal Palace

This is one of my most memorable events.  We were holding a promotion in Sweden for Gibson with Volvo.  We had a jam session at the Sweden’s Royal Palace.  Not seen is Tony Iommi who was also with us.  It was a very special night.

http://slashonline.com/

http://www.iommi.com/

By |May 27th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off

New 4HENRY.COM site coming!!!

image009

 

I am setting up a new WordPress web site because my former host, Posterous was purchased by Twitter and the site has been discontinued.

It will take me a few weeks to make this site workable so please be patient.

Thanks

Henry

Gibson Settles with Department of Justice

Gibson Guitar Corp.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

                                                                                                                                                      Contact Info:    

Monday, August 6, 2012                                                                            Henry E. Juszkiewicz

www.gibson.com                                                               … 615-871-4500/Ext.2405

Government agrees it will not prosecute Any Criminal Action against Gibson

After many weeks of negotiation, Gibson has settled all issues with the US government and the Department of Justice.  CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz commented, “We felt compelled to settle as the costs of proving our case at trial would have cost millions of dollars and taken a very long time to resolve.  This allows us to get back to the business of making guitars.  An important part of the settlement is that we are getting back the materials seized in a second armed raid on our factories and we have formal acknowledgement that we can continue to source rosewood and ebony fingerboards from India, as we have done for many decades.”

Despite the fact that,   “…the government acknowledges that Gibson has cooperated with the Government and the investigation conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Service”, Gibson was subject to two hostile raids on its factories by agents carrying weapons and attired in SWAT gear where employees were forced out of the premises, the production was shut down, goods were seized as contraband, and threats were made that would have forced the business to close.

CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz commented, “We feel that Gibson was inappropriately targeted, and a matter that could have been addressed with a simple contact a caring human being representing the government. Instead, the Government used violent and hostile means with the full force of the US Government and several armed law enforcement agencies costing the tax payer millions of dollars and putting a job creating US manufacture at risk and at a competitive disadvantage.  This shows the increasing trend on the part of government to criminalize rules and regulations and treat US businesses in the same way drug dealers are treated.  This is wrong and it is unfair.  I am committed to working hard to correct the inequity that the law allows and insure there is fairness, due process, and the law is used for its intended purpose of stopping bad guys and stopping the very real deforestation of our planet“.

Gibson will publish the agreement and the attached Statement of Facts that both the Government and Gibson agreed to so anyone can independently draw their own conclusions.


Possible questions and answers Gibson would give:

Q.              1.   In light of your previous outspoken condemnation of the government’s conduct in this case, why are you taking such a moderate, mild mannered approach in your official statement?

A.1.     The company is gratified that the government ultimately saw the wisdom and fairness in declining to bring criminal charges in this case.

or

A.2.     The “Criminal Enforcement Agreement” we have entered into straightforwardly recognizes that it was inappropriate to criminalize this matter.

Q.2.     In light of the government’s lenient treatment here, does Gibson still believe that amendments to the Lacey Act are necessary to make the law more fair and reasonable?

A.2.     Yes.  The outcome here deals only with the particular controversy about the particular fact pattern.  A true legislative reform is necessary to avoid systemic criminalization of capitalism, as I explained in my recent Wall Street Journal article.

Q.3.  Wasn’t the government’s conduct here, with its armed raid on your headquarters and manufacturing facilities, so outrageous and overreaching as to deserve further Congressional investigation, just calling a spade a spade?

A.3.  I don’t retreat from any of my prior commentary, but I am gratified that this resolution puts the matter behind us.  We are a forward-looking company hoping to move our business ahead in an environmentally forward thinking way.

Q.4.  The statement of facts includes Gibson’s official acknowledgement that you could have and should have exercised greater due diligence in regard to the importation of the questionable wood from Madagascar.  Doesn’t this amount to an admission that the company violated the law, notwithstanding all your previous protests?

A.4.  Gibson is strenuously dedicated to continuous environmental improvement.  We want to be leaders in our business, and our business includes protecting the environment.  We can always do better.

Q.5.  This is a pretty unusual legal deal being executed here.  It’s not a plea bargain, and it is not a traditional deferred prosecution agreement because there is no draft indictment or other criminal charging document.  But it’s apparently not a complete declination, as Gibson is at least paying a nominal penalty.  How did you settle on this unique form of agreement, and doesn’t it represent just a fig leaf to cover the government’s naked surrender?

A.5.  The case is behind us.  The extensive negotiations to reach this agreement succeeded in finding a balance that Gibson supports.



Image001

                                                                           United States Attorney

Middle District of Tennessee

Image003

John K. Webb,  AUSA Deputy Criminal Chief

110 9th Avenue South - Suite A-961

Nashville,  Tennessee  37203

Telephone:  (615) 736-5151

FAX:  (615) 736-5323

July 26, 2012

Donald Carr

William M. Sullivan, Jr.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

2300 N Street, NW Washington, DC 20037-1122

Re:       United States v. Gibson Guitar Corp., et al

Gentlemen:

Enclosed please find the case-closing letter sent today by this office to SAC Nicholas E. Chavez, Southwest Region I U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, memorializing the conclusion of the Government’s investigations into potential Lacey Act criminal charges against Gibson and its current or former officers, directors, employees or agents.  Your clients and the affected individuals may consider this to represent a final disposition of any and all potential enforcement actions related to the issues described in the case closing letter.

Very truly yours,

JERRY E. MARTIN

United States Attorney

Deputy Criminal Chief

Assistant United States Attorney


Image007

Donald A. Carr, Esq.

William M. Sullivan Jr., Esq.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, LLP

2300 N Street, NW Washington, DC 20037

Re: Gibson Guitar Corporation

Dear Mr. Carr and Mr. Sullivan:


U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney

Middle District of Tennessee

Suite A-961                                              Telephone (615) 736-5151 l/09thAvenueSouth                                 Fax(615) 736-5323

Nashville, Tennessee 37203-3870

July 27, 2012


On the understandings specified below, the United States Attorney’s  office for the Middle District of Tennessee (hereinafter referred to as "this Office") and the United States Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section (hereinafter referred to as "ECS"), (hereinafter collectively referred to as "the Government"), and Gibson Guitar Corp. (hereinafter referred to as "Gibson"),  by its

By |August 6th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A BOLD PROPOSAL TO SAVE THE FORESTS

The human race has been the most destructive force on this planet.  As our population explodes on an exponential growth trajectory the odds are sadly against sustainability and socially responsible stewardship.  There are many examples of human society’s ability to destroy – from the destruction of every carnivore species we come in contact with (that we cannot turn into pets), the destruction of the whale, buffalo, temperate forests in North America and Europe in the 19th century, and many more.  Can you name a single instance of a resource that has been preserved and is being managed sustainably and socially responsibly on a global basis?

Yet, I am optimistic that we can reverse this and start to systemically start managing natural resources in a sustainable and socially responsible fashion.  By building a coalition of governments, NGO’s and leading business enterprises to embrace fundamentally thoughtful policies and behaviors, the tide can start to turn.  First, we must recognize the root cause of the problem and then apply policies and laws that motivate the outcome we are seeking – sustainability, and socially responsible behavior.

The answer is simple.  Getting there is everything but…

Allow a sustainably managed, privately owned acre of timberland to generate a better return on capital investment than alternative uses.

It is a complex environment filled with passionate beliefs, largely based on political viewpoints and sadly lacking in facts.  If we truly wish to accomplish this difficult global goal, it will take a coalition of government, industry, and NGO interest working towards that common goal.  The rhetoric  and the politics must take a back seat to the hard work of crafting a robust sustainable future.

WHY ARE WE LOSING FORRESTS?

It’s about the land and not the trees

Let us establish factually why the forest is disappearing first.  Below are figures specifically for Brazil, but the figures for the planet wide disappearance of forest are quite similar. 

1.       Trees are being cut down and clear cut by indigenous entrepreneurs primarily for agricultural use (not to use tree products in industry)  by far.

2.       The total amount of “loss” due to trade in forest products, both legal and illegal is a meager 2 to 3%.  Illegal logging accounts for about one third of the international trade in lumber, with 67% legally controlled.

Taken from [http://www.mongabay.com/brazil.html]

Deforestation in the Amazon

By Rhett A Butler

Causes of deforestation in the Amazon

Cattle ranches

65-70%

Small-scale, subsistence agriculture

20-25%

Large-scale, commercial agriculture

5-10%

Logging, legal and illegal

2-3%

Fires, mining, urbanization, road construction, dams

1-2%

Selective logging and fires that burn under the forest canopy commonly result in forest degradation, not deforestation. Therefore these factor less in overall deforestation figures.


Image001

The above pie chart showing deforestation in the Amazon by cause is based on the median figures for estimate ranges. Please note the low estimate for large-scale agriculture. Between 2000-2005 soybean cultivation resulted in a small overall percentage of direct deforestation. Nevertheless the role of soy is quite significant in the Amazon.

As explained by Dr. Philip Fearnside, "Soybean farms cause some forest clearing directly. But they have a much greater impact on deforestation by consuming cleared land, savanna, and transitional forests, thereby pushing ranchers and slash-and-burn farmers ever deeper into the forest frontier. Soybean farming also provides a key economic and political impetus for new highways and infrastructure projects, which accelerate deforestation by other actors."

Image002

What is Being Done Now and Why it Doesn’t Work

Laws work with responsible people whose gold is threatened

Most countries try to manage forest acreage by retaining government ownership and setting up preserves.  They then set up concessions or contracts for third parties to be able to harvest supposedly a certain sustainable quantity of trees.  THIS DOES NOT WORK.

These struggling governments are generally unprepared to provide the policing and administration that these very large areas would require.   This makes it easy for bad guys to operate.  Concession pricing is often well below market for many reasons, none of which are good.

It is important to note that timber acreage is by definition a renewable resource.  Trees that are removed from a forest regrow.  This is very different from many natural resources like oil, gas, coal, copper, diamonds, etc.  Once these resources are removed from an area, they are gone.  Yet, the same type of approach is used for timber lands????

The answer is simple:

Allow indigenous private ownership of forest acreage with rules and regulations that mandate sustainable and socially responsible management.

For example, if the land owner, say an local community tries to repurpose the land, or to sell it, the ownership rights are lost and there may be punitive measures.  But the economic agent, the owner, has a choice, one of which is to prosper by doing the right thing.

Multilateral Trade in Timber is the Answer Creating Gold to Fund the Infrastructure

What cannot be sold has zero LEGAL value and creates pressure to pursue more lucrative alternatives

For an acre of sustainably and socially responsibly managed land to have value, the harvest from each acre must achieve a higher price than alternative uses net of direct and indirect taxes.  It is in everyone’s interest to promote the use of GOOD forest products and international trade. 

As the value of a cubic foot of forest product increases, the indigenous owner has more to lose if they do not conform to regulations, the communities have better employment opportunities, the indigenous governments have a better  renewable source of revenue, and businesses have a health ecosystem with stable long term supply.  Investments can be made in this stable infrastructure.

The rationing of the harvest in wood product to insure sustainability, particularly scarce wood product actually enhances our goal.  It is basic economics that there is an inverse relationship between supply and demand and price.  The more scare a valued product, the higher the price.  Thus the most desired acreage will be that which has sustainable but very scarce wood product.

I see very clearly the simple path to saving our forest lands and at the same time bringing prosperity to the globe.  Our children and their children can live to see a rich world full of the fruits of the planet and developing countries can grow prosperous and develop.  This view of the future is worth fighting for, and so I am committed to doing just that.  For the issue is not there is no solution, there is solution (see below 5 Point Plan).  The issue is the ideologies, political pressures and positions and the rhetoric that clogs our attempts at thoughtful dialogue.  But this is not insurmountable…

The 5 Point Plan

1)     Create a infrastructure of multilateral strictly enforced rules that have a bad end for bad actors/bad wood.

2)     Allow local private ownership of timber acreage

3)     Promote trade and value of “Good wood” to raise financial yield of an acre of sustainably and socially responsibly managed timber land.

4)     Insure taxes from timber trade cover enforcement and administration of infrastructure for good wood (i.e. this also must be sustainable and benign).

5)     Insure indigenous community benefits in short and long term from “good wood” business.

Henry E. Juszkiewicz

Chief Executive Officer

Gibson Guitar Corp.

309 Plus Park

Nashville, TN 37217  USA

Executive Assistant: Elizabeth Loving

    elizabeth.loving@gibson.com

615-871-4500  Extension 2405

615-884-9405  (FAX)

                 My forum:                      http://4henry.gibson.com

My blog (comments and news):    http://4henry.com

                  Twitter:                         http://twitter.com/henryej

 

     http://www.gibson.com

By |June 3rd, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Great entrepenuer Jim Marshall passed away this morning.

I am very saddened by the passing of a great man and friend, Jim  Marshall.  He was an accomplished musician who loved to sing and play drums.  He was an innovator who created the essential tools for Rock and Roll.  He was an astute businessman and entrepreneur whose company was celebrating it 50th anniversary this year.

I will miss him.  The world will miss his presence.

By |April 5th, 2012|Uncategorized|0 Comments

On the DOJ Action against Gibson: Is Leadership Possible?

As I sit here pondering the predicament I find myself and Gibson in I ask myself WHY?  The question in my mind goes beyond the interesting “who did this to us?” and goes to what possible purpose can this enormous governmental expense and effort achieve for the citizens that are paying for the effort?  This Department of Justice Investigation has already cost the government millions of dollars.  It has already cost Gibson millions of dollars, money that could have been invested in new business as virtually all profits have been since I have been with the company.  Yes, not investing these funds, and injuring Gibson’s ability compete does cost jobs – real jobs.  These funds are now going to lawyers that are working to defend us, and to the extraordinary efforts of our people trying to keep the business running when our raw materials were seized without notice.

The government hopes to convict someone, keep our raw materials from us, send someone to jail and fine us severely.  For the huge cost, what would be the purpose of this outcome?

There are some very real and very serious problems facing us.  As the global population increases the natural resources of this world are being depleted.  Very often, the natural resources are in countries which have unstable with corrupt governments where there are truly bad actors acting to enrich themselves as opposed to the social good.  There are very few consumer products that are not touched by such issues, wood products being among them.

 

Prohibition all Over Again

Can passing a law, stop these wrongs?   In the early nineteenth century reformers took on alcohol and used the same prescription, let’s pass a law with onerous consequences and that would surely eradicate the problem.  How did that work out?

These problems are deeply rooted, involving consumer tastes, political currents in developing countries, global political chess with nation-states, poverty, lack of education and health infrastructure, etc.  These problems are not solved by a law.  It will take thoughtful leadership using both the carrot and the stick and a plan to get from here to there.  It needs many shoulders at a very messy and difficult wheel, all with good intent, not slave labor under the duress of the Justice Department sword.

 

Leadership is not the Rule of the Day

It seems to me that it is not the law itself, but the thoughtful application of the law that will achieve difficult but necessary social results.  Businesses, including Gibson should certainly be held accountable, but we can be part of the solution if anyone had the character to discuss an issue with us.  One of the most successful large scale government programs was the Marshall Plan that instead of punishing our World War II enemies embraced them and helped rebuild their nations.  The ensuing prosperity generated allies and trading partners to this day.

But this sort of leadership is not easy in this polarized hateful climate where success is measured by who and what you destroy, and not the social good you build.  It is about self-centered constituencies who see things as war, as opposed to having a sense of social good for all, for the planet.  It is about big business verses the poor, the religiously devout verses the secular, the republicans verses the democrats, and on it goes.  Who has the courage to stand for all?  Who can say that all need to prosper and the world needs to be better off?

 

My Fantasy – A Leader that Embraces All

One great aspect of being human is one has a capacity to dream.  One can dream on how things can be, perhaps how they should be.  In my dream there are leaders, more than one, that can stand up for principal and the common good, with realistic plans to change the world that are not built on the latest polls.  These leaders have a clear constant unwavering vision for real beneficial change.  They know how to use the stick but they have both compassion and respect for all constituencies.

It would have been great to have someone call us and tell us they thought we were doing something wrong and sit down in a mutually respectful environment, instead of being treated like a criminal or terrorist for two years without a single true discussion.  It would have been so much more energizing to work towards a better world by investing in solving problems and working towards a common goal.  It would be so great if there was someone you can call at an Executive level that can thoughtfully review a situation and make it right and fair.

But I woke up today, the dream evaporated and I am facing the nightmare of the way it really is.

By |October 3rd, 2011|Uncategorized|4 Comments

On the DOJ Action against Gibson: Is Leadership Possible?

As I sit here pondering the predicament I find myself and Gibson in I ask myself WHY?  The question in my mind goes beyond the interesting “who did this to us?” and goes to what possible purpose can this enormous governmental expense and effort achieve for the citizens that are paying for the effort?  This Department of Justice Investigation has already cost the government millions of dollars.  It has already cost Gibson millions of dollars, money that could have been invested in new business as virtually all profits have been since I have been with the company.  Yes, not investing these funds, and injuring Gibson’s ability compete does cost jobs – real jobs.  These funds are now going to lawyers that are working to defend us, and to the extraordinary efforts of our people trying to keep the business running when our raw materials were seized without notice.

The government hopes to convict someone, keep our raw materials from us, send someone to jail and fine us severely.  For the huge cost, what would be the purpose of this outcome?

There are some very real and very serious problems facing us.  As the global population increases the natural resources of this world are being depleted.  Very often, the natural resources are in countries which have unstable with corrupt governments where there are truly bad actors acting to enrich themselves as opposed to the social good.  There are very few consumer products that are not touched by such issues, wood products being among them.

Prohibition all Over Again

Can passing a law, stop these wrongs?   In the early nineteenth century reformers took on alcohol and used the same prescription, let’s pass a law with onerous consequences and that would surely eradicate the problem.  How did that work out?

These problems are deeply rooted, involving consumer tastes, political currents in developing countries, global political chess with nation-states, poverty, lack of education and health infrastructure, etc.  These problems are not solved by a law.  It will take thoughtful leadership using both the carrot and the stick and a plan to get from here to there.  It needs many shoulders at a very messy and difficult wheel, all with good intent, not slave labor under the duress of the Justice Department sword.

Leadership is not the Rule of the Day

It seems to me that it is not the law itself, but the thoughtful application of the law that will achieve difficult but necessary social results.  Businesses, including Gibson should certainly be held accountable, but we can be part of the solution if anyone had the character to discuss an issue with us.  One of the most successful large scale government programs was the Marshall Plan that instead of punishing our World War II enemies embraced them and helped rebuild their nations.  The ensuing prosperity generated allies and trading partners to this day.

But this sort of leadership is not easy in this polarized hateful climate where success is measured by who and what you destroy, and not the social good you build.  It is about self-centered constituencies who see things as war, as opposed to having a sense of social good for all, for the planet.  It is about big business verses the poor, the religiously devout verses the secular, the republicans verses the democrats, and on it goes.  Who has the courage to stand for all?  Who can say that all need to prosper and the world needs to be better off?

My Fantasy – A Leader that Embraces All

One great aspect of being human is one has a capacity to dream.  One can dream on how things can be, perhaps how they should be.  In my dream there are leaders, more than one, that can stand up for principal and the common good, with realistic plans to change the world that are not built on the latest polls.  These leaders have a clear constant unwavering vision for real beneficial change.  They know how to use the stick but they have both compassion and respect for all constituencies.

It would have been great to have someone call us and tell us they thought we were doing something wrong and sit down in a mutually respectful environment, instead of being treated like a criminal or terrorist for two years without a single true discussion.  It would have been so much more energizing to work towards a better world by investing in solving problems and working towards a common goal.  It would be so great if there was someone you can call at an Executive level that can thoughtfully review a situation and make it right and fair.

But I woke up today, the dream evaporated and I am facing the nightmare of the way it really is.

By |October 3rd, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

More from USA Today

Attorney General Eric Holder declined to be interviewed; earlier this year, he told judges that officials "must take seriously each and every lapse, no matter the cause." The head of the department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, said, "Obviously, even one example of real misconduct is too many. … If you’ve engaged in misconduct, the response of the department has to be swift and strong."

In practice, however, the response — by the Justice Department and the state officials who oversee lawyers — has frequently been neither. Department records show that its internal investigations often take more than a year to complete, and usually find that prosecutors, at worst, made a mistake, even when judges who presided over the trials ruled that there was serious misconduct.

In one rare exception, the department in 2007 prosecuted one of its former attorneys, Richard Convertino, for obstructing justice in his handling of a Detroit terrorism case. He was acquitted, and he unsuccessfully accused the attorneys who prosecuted him of misconduct. The department called Convertino "unmanageable" in one court filing, but still kept its internal review of the case secret.

In the one case in which USA TODAY found that state officials suspended a federal prosecutor from practicing law, the punishment lasted only a year. In that case, Florida’s Supreme Court found that Karen Schmid Cox had let a witness lie about her name during a trial, making it impossible for defense attorneys to check the witness’s background. If they had, they would have found that the witness had been previously accused of lying to a judge and filing a false police report.

Pressures on prosecutors

In some cases, Justice Department records and court documents suggest that prosecutors broke the rules inadvertently, often because they were inexperienced or unsupervised.

Former prosecutors from offices across the nation insist that the Justice Department never put pressure on them to cut corners — "there wasn’t any pervasive attitude of win-at-any-cost," said Rick Jancha, a former prosecutor in Orlando.

But there are other pressures. For one thing, prosecutors are taking on more cases than ever. In the mid-1990s, the offices had one attorney for every 14 defendants; last year, they had one attorney for every 28. Even though most of those cases end in plea bargains, the increase can be taxing, because prosecutors often are responsible not just for conducting trials but overseeing investigations.

And prosecutors put pressure on themselves. "They’re the A+ students. They’re not used to losing," Levenson said.

"Prosecutors think they’re doing the Lord’s work, and that they wear the white hat. When I was a prosecutor, I thought everything I did was right," said Jack Wolfe, a former federal prosecutor in Texas and now a defense lawyer. "So even if you got out of line, you could tell yourself that you didn’t do it on purpose, or that it was for the greater good."

Beyond that, most federal prosecutors do their jobs with little day-to-day supervision, said Michael Seigel, the second-in-command of the U.S. attorney’s office in Tampa from 1995 to 1999.

And, until last year, prosecutors were not required to get regular training in ethics such as their constitutional duty to share evidence with defendants. That training is important: Many of the legal rules prosecutors must follow are complex, and not everyone agrees on the boundary between aggressive lawyering and misconduct.

Last year, Ogden, Holder’s second-in-command, headed a review of problems with prosecutors’ failure to turn over evidence to defendants, the issue that ultimately undermined the Lyons case. It concluded that most violations were "not the product of people who intentionally set about to cheat but … more of a lack of training and a lack of resources," said Ogden, who left the department this year. That review prompted a new requirement that prosecutors get two hours of annual training in their duty to share evidence.

‘Real sloppy and lazy’

Before Bruce Hinshelwood became a federal prosecutor, he tried murder cases and those involving other high-profile crimes as a state attorney. He headed the Justice Department’s Jacksonville office, and was briefly second-in-command of the middle district surrounding Tampa. Later, he tried drug cases in Orlando. In all that time, there is no indication Hinshelwood was faulted for misconduct. The Lyons case changed that.

Hinshelwood’s former boss, Paul Perez, became U.S. attorney in Tampa in 2002, shortly after Lyons’ trial ended. When the case against Lyons fell apart, it was his job to figure out why.

Perez said in an interview that he personally never doubted that Lyons was guilty. He said the problems came down to inattention: Hinshelwood was "an experienced but very lazy prosecutor," but didn’t break the rules on purpose. He was, Perez said, "real sloppy and lazy."

Judge Presnell drew harsher conclusions. In a 2004 order, he said the Justice Department’s failures in the case could be explained, "at best, by its agents’ sloppy investigative work or, at worst, by their knowing failure to meet constitutional duties." He later faulted prosecutors not just for failing to turn over evidence but for "brazenly" defying court orders and presenting witnesses who were "allowed, if not encouraged, to lie under oath."

Records from the Florida Bar, which regulates the state’s lawyers, show that the Justice Department investigated Hinshelwood’s handling of the Lyons case, a fact the department refused to confirm for fear of invading his privacy. The department completed its report in 2007 and referred its findings to the bar in 2009, a step Justice Department policies say it takes when it finds misconduct.

Despite Presnell’s rebuke and its own investigation, there is no evidence that the Justice Department ever punished Hinshelwood. He continued prosecuting cases until he retired in February 2008 to open his own law practice in Orlando.

The Florida Bar investigated Hinshelwood last year — seven years after Presnell accused him of misconduct by name in a court order — but concluded that too much time had passed to take action for what happened at the trial. It let Hinshelwood resolve the complaint by paying $1,111.80 in costs and attending Friday’s ethics workshop.

"That’s the extent of it?" Lyons said.

The bar opened a second investigation of Hinshelwood in July after Presnell declared Lyons innocent, an uncommon step that officials would not explain publicly.

To Lyons, nothing the bar can do would be strong enough. Hinshelwood "should suffer or go to jail," Lyons said. "The justice system not only didn’t work initially in my case, it’s still not working. Bruce Hinshelwood has his pension. He still works every single day. His life is not miserable. I’m not saying mine is, but it’s nothing like it was before."

McCoy reported from New York. Contributing: Rhyne Piggott.

Henry E. Juszkiewicz

Chief Executive Officer

Gibson Guitar Corp.

309 Plus Park

Nashville, TN 37217  USA

Executive Assistant: Leeanne Nichols

615-871-4500  Extension 2405

615-884-9405  (FAX)

                 My forum:                      http://4henry.gibson.com

My blog (comments and news):   http://4henry.com

                  Twitter:                         http://twitter.com/henryej

 

http://www.gibson.com

By |August 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

From USA Today: Prosecutors’ conduct can tip justice scales

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/2010-09-22-federal-prosecutors-reform_N.htm?csp=DailyBriefing

Prosecutors’ conduct can tip justice scales

By Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY ORLANDO — The jurors who helped put Nino Lyons in jail for three years had every reason to think that he was a drug trafficker, and, until July, no reason to doubt that justice had been done.

For more than a week in 2001, the jurors listened to one witness after another, almost all of them prison inmates, describe how Lyons had sold them packages of cocaine. One said that Lyons, who ran clothing shops and nightclubs around Orlando, even tried to hire him to kill two drug suppliers.

But the federal prosecutors handling the case did not let the jury hear all the facts.

Instead, the prosecutors covered up evidence that could have discredited many of Lyons’ accusers. They never revealed that a convict who claimed to have purchased hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Lyons struggled even to identify his photograph. And they hid the fact that prosecutors had promised to let others out of prison early in exchange for their cooperation.

 Enlarge

Image005

By Rhyne Piggott, USA TODAY

Antonino "Nino" Lyons spent almost three years in jail before

his case was thrown out because of prosecutorial misconduct.

"The scary part is it probably does happen every day, and nobody ever figures it out"

-Robert Berry,
Nino Lyons’ attorney

Prosecutors are "the A+ students. They’re not used to losing."

-Laurie Levenson,
Loyola Law School professor

Image006

VIDEO: Wrongfully jailed man: ‘It can happen to you’

EXPLORE CASES: Investigate the misconduct cases we identified

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: Prosecutors must brush up on duties

FULL COVERAGE: Federal prosecutors series

Federal prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, not merely score convictions. But a USA TODAY investigation found that prosecutors repeatedly have violated that duty in courtrooms across the nation. The abuses have put innocent people in prison, set guilty people free and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees and sanctions.

Judges have warned for decades that misconduct by prosecutors threatens the Constitution’s promise of a fair trial. Congress in 1997 enacted a law aimed at ending such abuses.

Yet USA TODAY documented 201 criminal cases in the years that followed in which judges determined that Justice Department prosecutors — the nation’s most elite and powerful law enforcement officials — themselves violated laws or ethics rules.

In case after case during that time, judges blasted prosecutors for "flagrant" or "outrageous" misconduct. They caught some prosecutors hiding evidence, found others lying to judges and juries, and said others had broken plea bargains.

Such abuses, intentional or not, doubtless infect no more than a small fraction of the tens of thousands of criminal cases filed in the nation’s federal courts each year. But the transgressions USA TODAY identified were so serious that, in each case, judges threw out charges, overturned convictions or rebuked prosecutors for misconduct. And each has the potential to tarnish the reputation of the prosecutors who do their jobs honorably.

In July, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell did more than overturn Lyons’ conviction: He declared that Lyons was innocent.

Neither the Justice Department nor the lead prosecutor in the Lyons case, Bruce Hinshelwood, would explain the events that cost Lyons his home, his businesses and nearly three years of freedom. The department investigated Hinshelwood but refused to say whether he was punished; records obtained by USA TODAY show that the agency regulating Florida lawyers ordered him to attend a one-day ethics workshop, scheduled for Friday.

Asked about Presnell’s ruling exonerating Lyons, Hinshelwood said only, "It is of no concern to me."

The circumstances of Lyons’ conviction did trouble Presnell, who oversaw his trial nine years ago. Presnell savaged the Justice Department in a written order for "a concerted campaign of prosecutorial abuse" by attorneys who, he wrote, covered up evidence and let felons lie to the jury.

Records from the Justice Department’s internal ethics watchdogs show the agency has investigated a growing number of complaints by judges about misconduct they observed. In 2001, the department investigated 42 such complaints; last year, 61.

The department will not reveal how many of those prosecutors were punished because, it said, doing so would violate their privacy rights. USA TODAY, drawing on state bar records, identified only one federal prosecutor who was barred even temporarily from practicing law for misconduct during the past 12 years.

Even high-profile cases have been affected. Last year, a judge in Washington, D.C. — saying the department could not be trusted to investigate its own prosecutors — launched his own probe of the attorneys who handled the corruption trial of former Alaska senator Ted Stevens. After a jury found Stevens guilty, the department admitted that prosecutors had hidden evidence, then dropped the charges. (Stevens died in an August plane crash.)

Stevens’ lawyers question how misconduct could have tainted such a closely watched case — and what that might mean for routine prosecutions. "It’s a frightening thought and calls into question the generally accepted belief that our system of justice performs at a high level and yields just results," said Brendan Sullivan, Stevens’ attorney.

Pattern of ‘glaring misconduct’

Unlike local prosecutors, who often toil daily in crowded courts to untangle routine burglaries and homicides, Justice Department attorneys handle many of the nation’s most complex and consequential crimes.

With help from legal experts and former prosecutors, USA TODAY spent six months examining federal prosecutors’ work, reviewing legal databases, department records and tens of thousands of pages of court filings. Although the true extent of misconduct by prosecutors will likely never be known, the assessment is the most complete yet of the scope and impact of those violations.

USA TODAY found a pattern of "serious, glaring misconduct," said Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman, an expert on misconduct by prosecutors. "It’s systemic now, and … the system is not able to control this type of behavior. There is no accountability."

He and Alexander Bunin, the chief federal public defender in Albany, N.Y., called the newspaper’s findings "the tip of the iceberg" because many more cases are tainted by misconduct than are found. In many cases, misconduct is exposed only because of vigilant scrutiny by defense attorneys and judges.

However frequently it happens, the consequences go to the heart of the justice system’s promise of fairness:

• Innocent people are punished. In Arizona, a woman spent eight years in prison for her conviction in a 2000 bank robbery because the prosecution never told her that another woman who matched her description almost exactly — had been charged with robbing banks in the area. In Washington, D.C., a court in 2005 threw out murder charges against two men who had spent two decades in prison for a murder they didn’t commit, in part because prosecutors hid evidence that two others could have committed the crime.

They were among 47 cases USA TODAY documented in which defendants were either exonerated or set free after the violations surfaced.

Among the consequences of misconduct, wrongful convictions are the most serious, said former U.S. attorney general Dick Thornburgh. He said, "No civilized society should countenance such conduct or systems that failed to prevent it."

Even people who never spent a day in jail faced ruinous consequences: lost careers, lost savings and lost reputations. Last year, a federal appeals court wiped out Illinois businessman Charles Farinella’s 2007 conviction for changing "best when purchased by" dates on bottles of salad dressing he sold to discount stores. The judges ruled that what he had done wasn’t illegal and blasted lead prosecutor Juliet Sorensen for violations that robbed Farinella of a fair trial. Exoneration came too late to salvage his business or to help the 20 or so employees he had laid off.

"It’s the United States government against one person," Farinella said in his first public comment on the case. "They beat you down because they are so powerful. They have trillions of dollars behind them. Even someone who’s innocent doesn’t have much of a chance."

• Guilty people go free or face less punishment. In Puerto Rico, a federal court blocked prosecutors from seeking the death penalty for a fatal robbery because they failed to turn over evidence; the defendant was sentenced to life in prison instead. In California, a double agent accused of sharing defense secrets with China was sentenced to probation instead of prison because prosecutors refused to let her lawyer talk to her FBI handler, a key witness. Dozens of other defendants — including drug dealers and bank robbers — left prison early because their trials were tainted.

• Taxpayers foot the bill. The Justice Department has paid nearly $5.3 million to reimburse the legal bills of defendants who were wrongly accused. It has spent far more to repeat trials for people whose convictions were thrown out because of misconduct, a process that can take years, although the full price tag is impossible to tally.

In one California case, for example, it took prosecutors four years and three trials to convict a man of tax fraud. Then an appeals court set aside his conviction because it said a prosecutor "sat silently as his witness lied."

The violations happened in almost every part of the nation, though USA TODAY found the most cases in federal courts in San Diego; Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; and Puerto Rico. That pattern means misconduct is "not an isolated problem," said Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor in Los Angeles.

Trial, jail and vindication

The American legal system puts enormous faith in juries: Give 12 men and women the facts, and they will separate the guilty from the innocent.

The Constitution, Congress and courts have set elaborate rules to ensure jurors get the facts and aren’t swayed by emotion or fear. Rules are particularly exacting for prosecutors, as they act with government authority and their mistakes can put people in prison.

One of those rules, established by the Supreme Court nearly 50 years ago in a case called Brady v. Maryland, is that prosecutors must tell defendants about evidence that could help prove their innocence. Withholding that evidence is "reprehensible," the court later said.

Nonetheless, USA TODAY identified 86 cases in which judges found that prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence to defendants. That’s what happened to Nino Lyons.

Lyons, now 50, grew up in the public housing projects of Cocoa, Fla., outside Orlando; his father spent time in prison, and for several years, his mother raised him alone. Even so, Lyons thrived: He graduated from college and worked briefly at the nearby Kennedy Space Center. In the 1990s, he opened clothing stores and nightclubs in Cocoa and Orlando. He was vice president of the local NAACP chapter.

How Lyons also became a drug suspect is unclear. But five days before Christmas in 2000, police stormed his Rockledge house, searching for an illegal machine gun. They did not find a machine gun or any drugs. What they did find was suspicious: an assortment of legal guns and $185,000 in cash, some of it counterfeit. Lyons said he was saving for a down payment on an Orlando nightclub.

Within a year, prosecutors put together a procession of more than two dozen inmates willing to testify that Lyons was a major drug trafficker. Jurors convicted Lyons of almost every charge, including carjacking, selling counterfeit clothing and a drug conspiracy that could have put him in prison for life.

"With all the evidence they had brought forth in this trial, I didn’t have any choice but to vote guilty on him," said one juror, Harold Newsome.

The evidence prosecutors hid from Newsome and the other jurors did not fully come to light until 2004, during Lyons’ third year in jail. It surfaced only because of one line in a government sentencing report that hinted at undisclosed evidence. When it emerged, the Justice Department agreed to drop the drug charge against Lyons, and Presnell, the judge who oversaw the trial, threw out the rest.

It was a drastic step and meant Lyons could never be retried. Presnell wrote that he had no other option: "The Government’s protracted course of misconduct," he wrote, "caused extraordinary prejudice to Lyons, exhibited disregard of the Government’s duties, and demonstrated contempt for this court."

By then, Lyons had spent 1,003 days in a county jail north of Orlando. He was never sentenced, but remained locked up while courts sorted through the problems in his case. He saw his son and daughter, then in middle school, only through the thick glass windows of the visiting room, and spoke to them only via telephone.

His businesses folded while he was in jail. His wife, Debbie, was demoted from her job as principal of an elementary school, a move the school said was unrelated to the case. She sold the couple’s house and took a night job tutoring the children of migrant farm workers to pay the bills.

"It was bad for me, but I didn’t realize until I came home how bad it had been for my wife and my kids, people that really loved me," Lyons said.

Records show the Justice Department eventually paid $150,000 of Lyons’ legal bills in a settlement that was never made public. It admitted in a court filing that prosecutors made "serious errors" in their handling of the case. The attorney who replaced Hinshelwood as the case dragged on, Lee Bentley, personally apologized to Lyons.

For Debbie Lyons, 51, it wasn’t enough. "When they targeted him, they targeted me. They targeted my kids," she said. Prosecutors "don’t have the courtesy to say, ‘We’re wrong, our agents were wrong, we pursued this case wrong. We know we lied, we know we withheld evidence.’ "

Lyons said he’s "thankful to God" that Presnell finally declared him innocent. But almost nine years after he was first found guilty, exoneration hasn’t repaired the damage to his reputation.

In the six years since he was released from jail, he hasn’t been able to find a regular job or even land an interview. Now he works part time for a church program in Orlando that finds mentors for kids whose parents are in jail. The grant that pays for the program will run out at the end of the month.

"Even if the president comes out tomorrow and says this man is 1,000% innocent, you’re going to have somebody somewhere say, ‘I’m not sure about that. I don’t think the government would have did that if he was innocent,’ " Lyons said.

‘The scary part’

Sniffing out misconduct can be a matter of serendipity — or luck, as Lyons’ attorneys discovered.

The evidence that eventually set Lyons free came to light only because of one sentence buried in a 40-page draft of a probation officer’s sentencing report. Those drafts are dense and at times ignored, but this one offered a tantalizing clue: an account by one of Lyons’ accusers, a federal inmate, that differed from his testimony during the trial.

That stuck out to Robert Berry, one of Lyons’ attorneys, who wondered what else he hadn’t been told. His digging led to hundreds of pages of other evidence prosecutors had never disclosed.

"If it wasn’t for that one sentence, he would be in prison right now, probably for the rest of his life," Berry said. "The scary part is it probably does happen every day and nobody ever figures it out."

One reason violations may go undetected is that only a small fraction of criminal cases ever get the scrutiny of a trial, the process most likely to identify misconduct. Trials play a "very important" role, said former deputy attorney general David Ogden, because they force judges and attorneys to review a case in far more exacting detail.

The number of people charged with crimes in federal district courts has almost doubled over the past 15 years. Yet the number whose cases actually go to trial has fallen almost 30%, to about 3,500 last year, USA TODAY found. Last year, just four defendants out of 100 went to trial; the rest struck plea bargains that resolved their cases quickly, with far less scrutiny from judges.

"We really should be more concerned about the cases we don’t know about," said Levenson, the Loyola professor. "Many of the types of misconduct you identified could happen every day, and we’d never know about it if defendants plead out."

Deliberate violations

In a justice system that prosecutes more than 60,000 people a year, mistakes are inevitable. But the violations USA TODAY documented go beyond everyday missteps. In the worst cases, say judges, former prosecutors and others, they happen because prosecutors deliberately cut corners to win.

"There are rogue prosecutors, often motivated by personal ambition or partisan reasons," said Thornburgh, who was attorney general under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Such people are uncommon, though, he added: "Most former federal prosecutors, like myself, are resentful of actions that bring discredit on the office."

Judges have seen those abuses, too. "Sometimes, you get inexperienced and unscrupulous assistant U.S. attorneys who don’t care about the rules," said U.W. Clemon, the former chief judge in northern Alabama’s federal courts.

How often prosecutors deliberately violate the rules is impossible to know. The Justice Department’s internal ethics watchdog, the Office of Professional Responsibility, insists it happens rarely. It reported that it completed more than 750 investigations over the past decade, and found intentional violations in just 68. The department would not identify the cases it concluded were marred by intentional violations, and removes from its public reports any details that could be used to identify the prosecutors involved.

State records, however, offer a glimpse into what can go wrong. Three years ago, two federal prosecutors in Illinois, each with more than a decade of experience, were ordered to answer to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission for problems that almost torpedoed a drug case. The lawyers failed to turn over information to defense attorneys that could have discredited a key witness. That tactic, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit concluded, was "designed to deliberately mislead the court and defense counsel."

Both prosecutors told authorities that they knew the rules, and both admitted that they didn’t turn over the evidence, according to a transcript of the hearing. One, Bradley Murphy, said he was counting on the witness to reveal the damaging information himself during his testimony. The other, John Campbell, apologized. "It’s embarrassing, to say the least," he told the commission.

State records show that the Justice Department suspended both prosecutors for a day. Both also were censured by the Illinois Supreme Court.

They remain federal prosecutors.

Attorney General Eric Holder declined to be interviewed; earlier this year, he told judges that officials "must take seriously each and every lapse, no matter the c

By |August 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments

More on Gibson Raid and my Opinion (Part 2)

·        In a case initiated in 2006, the government prosecuted a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe of Wyoming for shooting a bald eagle for use in a traditional religious ceremony without a permit; on appeal, the 10th Circuit reversed the district court’s finding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act precludes the government from prosecuting the defendant, and remanded the case for trial.  

Ms. Colbourn was a hired gun that used legal violence to protect big government when big government does damaging and hurtful things:

·        In the early-to-late 1990s, Ms. Colbourn assisted in the defense of various environmental claims brought against governmental agencies.  As an example, Ms. Colbourn was involved in defending a case filed in 1996 challenging regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Commerce that allegedly had a disastrous impact on small fishing boat operations; the district court granted summary judgment for the government. 

·        Ms. Colbourn was also involved in defending a pro se case filed in 1994 against various governmental agencies alleging that they have addressed inadequately the impact of Coast Guard activities on various endangered marine mammals; the district court granted summary judgment to the defendants. 

WHY IS BIG GOVERNMENT SPENDING OUR MONEY TO HARM ORDINARY CITIZENS AND SMALL BUSINESS?

Is this big powerful Washington law enforcement weapon protecting us, or is it following its own self-centered agenda?  If big oil lays waste to an entire section of the country, is responsible for loss of life, loss of wildlife and habitat and causes billions in economic damage the Washington law enforcement club is put away – silent.  If the government causes harm to endangered animals, out comes the club to protect who?

Two strong American values are reason and common sense.  These American values are being trampled. Ordinary citizens are being trampled by Washington interests with Washington agendas.

Image002

American values of caring for our fellow citizens and having honest and open dialogue are replaced by legal terrorism and shoot first tactics. 

What is the end result for our citizens and our country from the above enforcement actions?  Are these the first steps in erasing American values and the American dream?

We must hold our government leaders accountable.

Gibson has still not been given any proof of wrong doing. Yet an ordinary citizen, a production worker was threatened with 5 years in jail and a felony conviction.  That employee was not a buyer of wood, but was Gibson’s representative on a mission to support conservation partners. 

The law that is being enforced is not US law, but the laws of another country that have suffered a coup and is under a dictatorship.  What makes the wood unlawful are the regulations of this impoverished country whose laws and documents are in French.  The Lacey act is not about conservation, but about enforcing the laws in countries from which goods are sourced, no matter the reason the laws exist.

Yet the cost is real, thousands of dollars spent by Gibson, and much more spent by big government to persecute us.  The fear on the part of our workers is real.  The damage to our reputation is real.

Ultimately, the President, and Congress make the decisions that direct big government.  The people we elect to do what we believe is right are responsible and should be held accountable. 

·        The only way to insure these powerful people do what we want them to is to tell them.  Write to them.  Write to your friends.  Vote for those people who believe in fair play, dialogue and American values. 

·        Our case is but one in many.  We will continue to cooperate because we did nothing wrong, and I believe we will prevail.  But if we win this case we will have lost time, money and reputation. The tax payer has paid to the bill to persecute Gibson.

Is this where America is going?  Is this where we should go?  I pray not.


We must work to stop this useless harassment and abuse.  We must protect our citizens and small businesses.  Our weapons need to be focused on bad guys and not ordinary citizens trying to honor their religious traditions.  Only if we grow into a large and loud group committed to this change do we have a chance at a better future.  As individuals, the powerful interests in Washington will continue to abuse us.  Those who support these un-American terrorist tactics should be voted out of office.

Write your members of congress.  Write to the President.  Write to you friends and have them spread the word.  Let change the world and restore American values of fair play, cooperation and protect our citizens from mean and hostile abuse. 

Let us together move to a better world.

Henry E. Juszkiewicz

CEO

Gibson Guitar Corp.  

Image004

The man holding the guitar could be guilty of violating the Lacey Act and is subject to prosecution and a jail term even if he does not know of any wrong doing if this happened after May of 2008.

…anyone who … received, acquired, or purchased the wood products made from … illegal timber, who knew or should have known that the wood was illegal, may be prosecuted for violation of the Lacey Act

The following text is from a hand written letter that was delivered to the White House on June 25, 2010 and accepted by Johnny Casey.  It was sent to the President’s correspondence department on June 30th.  No reply of any kind as of September 20th, 2010.

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

I would like to present a situation I find myself and my company in and ask your opinion on what I can do to address this issue.  Secondly, I would ask you if there is a better way to accomplish public policy objectives, or do you believe this is the way things should work.

WHAT HAPPENED

On November of 2009, without warning or prior communication, approximately 30 armed agents of Bureau of Wildlife invaded our main Gibson Guitar Factory in Nashville TN.  They had full swat attire, interrupted production and evacuated our entire work force of about 300 people.  They confiscated approximately $300,000 worth of fingerboard blanks that were on pallets.

The agents, allowed the work force to return, but immediately started to interrogate individuals setting them up in rooms with several armed agents present.  They remained in our factory for most of the day before moving to our corporate offices where they proceeded to copy all our data (with our full cooperation).  Our people were intimidated and fearful.

This episode immediately made the local television news where news of the raid was broadcast with my name and picture.  This event quickly went national and was picked up by the New York Times.   Social media took this news and implicated myself and our company in wrong doing.

We have fully cooperated with the ensuing investigation.

More than 7 months after the raid, we have not been charged with any wrong doing, and we were told that whatever triggered this aggressive and hostile action was sealed and we would not be told who our accuser was or what served as the basis of any accusations.   There has been no timeline that has been given by which some determination will be made, and we have been subject to increased level investigation.

We, of course, had to get counsel involved which to date has cost us approximately $200,000 and the meter is running.

BACKGROUND

We are the leading manufacture of electric guitars.  We have been increasing our US work force and successfully competing against larger foreign competitor like Yamaha Corp.  We have increased exports, brought jobs to several US communities, and I believe have generally been good citizens.  We have not asked for government handouts or supports.

I have personally been involved with leading conservation organizations, and have been on the Board of the Rainforest Alliance.  We have supported these organizations financially and promotionally, and have implemented an aggressive program to use wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Counsel (FSC).  We are audited annually and have worked to increase the percentage of wood which is certified.

I was a lead organizer working with Green Peace to try to have Sealaska certify the natural spruce forests by organizing guitar builders to insist on certification and offer a lucrative market for the certified wood.

As a result of the raid and subsequent publicity, I removed myself from involvement with conservation groups to protect them from any adverse implications of the government action.

WHAT I BELIEVE

We have done an exhaustive internal investigation and have not found any activity that is illegal or inappropriate.  We did not buy the wood which was confiscated directly but used a broker of long standing which services virtually every company in our industry and has a good reputation.  This type of wood is used commonly by every guitar maker, and sourcing relationships are decades long.

I asked my conservation contacts and company personnel why this wood was not already certified, as we had a firm commitment to certify all wood being used.  I was told that this type of wood is almost impossible to certify because of the nature of the supply chain.  Certification works well when wood is grown on plantations, or controlled forests.  The nature of the trees used is that they do not grow together, but instead are spread out through a forest (one tree here, one tree there).  Therefore, the procurement is done via auction where indigent individuals will bring a single log to market.  There are laws and paperwork required to allow the log into the auction, but these are very poor people in the areas where this wood grows and there is a huge incentive to forge documents, and consequently a very limited ability to establish whether the wood is harvested lawfully.

I believe that all the wood we procured had the appropriate paperwork showing it was lawful.  There is clearly an issue in the supply chain for anyone buying this type of wood.  This does not allow what I consider the best approach, which is a full third party certification.  Again, we have not found any wrongdoing on anyone’s part, but the supply chain in general has problems.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

We have been fully cooperating with the investigation.  In addition, we have commissioned an aggressive effort to try to improve the supply chain issue by expanding our partnership with the Rainforest Alliance and another independent group to certify a “chain of custody” trying to insure lawful sourcing back to the individual tree.  This requires cooperation and transparency in every transaction by every party in the supply chain with a 3rd party audit.

We have already started to implement this system and will expect to have this in place in approximately one year (we have a detailed project schedule).  This system is being implemented in all our manufacturing facilities whether inside the US or not.

WHY ARE WE ATTACKED, WHY WERE WE SINGLED OUT

I am confused and can only believe that someone is intentionally trying to hurt our company.  When I have an issue that needs to be addressed, I do not believe it is appropriate to club a person over the head without some dialogue and attempt to communicate I have an issue.

I and Gibson have had our reputations irreparably damage, our employees frightened, and a significant financial and emotion burden put upon us without the benefit of any meaningful dialogue or indication of wrong doing.  It has injured us competitively.

I will ask you for your thoughts:

1.      What I can do to address this issue.

2.      Secondly, is there is a better way to accomplish public policy objectives, or do you believe this is the way things should work.

Sincerely

Henry

Henry E. Juszkiewicz

Chief Executive Officer

Gibson Guitar Corp.

309 Plus Park

Nashville, TN 37217  USA

Executive Assistant: Leeanne Nichols

615-871-4500  Extension 2405

615-884-9405  (FAX)

                 My forum:                      http://4henry.gibson.com

My blog (comments and news):   http://4henry.com

                  Twitter:                         http://twitter.com/henryej

 

http://www.gibson.com

Image001

Image003

By |August 25th, 2011|Uncategorized|0 Comments