CDX EMERGES FROM COURT PROCEEDINGS VICTORIOUS AND PREPARES TO OPEN NEW FACILITY IN 2012!
It has been a rough year here at CDX. Its also been very hard on the CDX customers, some of which still have orders outstanding since late last year. Until now, I have been very quiet about what really went on at CDX this year while our legal case proceeded. I wanted to scream from the rooftops to counter the lies that were being spread, but here at CDX, things are handled professionally and I had no interest in presenting the case through mud slinging like a bad political race. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and without further ado, here is the truth of the situation.
In late 2011 and early 2012 Nick and I began having problems in our partnership. I learned he was not producing for CDX in the capacity he assured me was possible. We also had a lot of different ideas on how the business should be run. While we were partners, I hold the majority share in CDX due to substantial financial investment and as such, final decisions should rest on my shoulders. I had a vision for this business to dominate the market, not only with the best product out there, but with the absolute best customer service and I intended to implement procedures to insure just that. Nick did not believe or agree with this and started working on his own terms. He then started demanding payment above and beyond what CDX and our partnership was required to or had the means to give, and he refused to execute production of drumsticks until his demands were met. Many of you suffered as your orders were caught in the cross hairs and were not produced because of this. Nick also started taking cash out of our company accounts without authorization. This created a lot of financial strain on the company and at that point, we could not continue to operate normally.
Around this time, I also witnessed Nick smoking and drinking in our production facilities as well as housing two very active pit bulls full time in the shop. Now this may not seem like a big deal to some, but in a wood shop where we were working with extremely flammable materials and chemicals, this posed a great danger to both the CDX production facility as well as surrounding businesses. Despite my pleas for him to discontinue this dangerous behavior, he continued to do the same without regard for the safety of others in the shop. I am an animal lover and I had great concern for the well being of these dogs not to mention the destruction they were causing in the shop, as well as relieving themselves in the shop when left there for days on end by Nick; truly a sad situation.
With these factors in hand, I consulted my attorney and began the paperwork to expel Nick Fetzer from the partnership based on multiple partnership clauses that he had violated. I also arranged for a new production team in a new facility to help transition CDX into a new chapter of production without the strain and burden the company had been carrying for almost a year. Under my new plan, CDX would have put production on hold for 2-3 weeks and resumed filling all orders in May of 2012. With the paperwork in hand, I drove to the shop to inventory our equipment and deliver the expulsion papers to Nick. However, he had been tipped off to his expulsion by a customer and I arrived at the shop to find Nick loading up our company equipment into personal trucks. Nick's theft of the company equipment immediately shut down operations and then required legal actions to resolve. Nick's actions and disregard for the the well being of the company operations (and the law) speak for themselves.
In conducting an audit of all customer accounts, it became apparent that Nick was also embezzling from the company and directing customers to order from him directly and outside the business. Unfortunately, I also learned that he took payment and orders from customers and then failed to produce their sticks. This misappropriation of company funds and equipment was the main reason the company was in such financial distress, and as customers you suffered the price.
Initially we filed suit in Magistrate Court but then upon learning the magnitude of Nick's actions, we moved to transfer the case to Superior Court which holds higher sanctions and ramifications for his actions. This move was accepted and we went to trial on the issues to have the court order the equipment to be returned.
During the next few months I was forced to break our lease with our landlord on the shop, pay penalties, and pay a clean-up crew to clean and repair the damage caused by Nick and his dogs. CDX also paid out refunds to those who asked for one, in the order received, until the funds ran out. It has always been my intention and that of CDX to refund anyone who wanted one and to produce sticks for those who are waiting (no matter how long the wait). I can say that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and those who have waited will receive their orders in the end.
It took several more months, but finally on 10/15/2012 Judge David Dickenson, of the Forsyth Superior Court, ruled in favor of CDX and granted our Motion for Interlocutory Injunction (for Nick to return all stolen equipment) with Nick Fetzer turning over all stolen goods from the storage locker where they were being held on October 20, 2012. He ordered that NEITHER party were to access the storage unit until the date and time set with a sheriff present. Against the Judge's orders, Nick made 2 attempts to access the storage unit prior to this date with a large moving truck. Anticipating that Nick would ignore the Judge's ruling, we warned the storage facility and, luckily, they denied Nick access to the unit. I would like to note that during our equipment recovery, we also found several items which Nick Fetzer stated on the record he did not take and there were also items missing from the unit that Nick had possession of. We documented with photos all of the evidence of items in the storage unit and plan to present this to the Judge and pursue a charge of perjury against Nick as well as contempt for the court order; these charges carry jail time. We expect to be victorious on this issue as we have been so far with the rest of our case. This proof of perjury also solidifies CDX's claim as to the nature of the defendant. Again, his actions speak for themselves. As soon as available, a transcript of all the court hearings will be available for everyone who wishes to know more.
There is an old adage: "It is always darkest before the dawn" and I am happy to say I firmly believe that to be true in this case. Set up of the new production facility and training of staff is underway! I am also happy to say we are starting anew with a more experienced and stable team as well as a new distributor of our wood. I'm sure, once we resume production, you will find a marked increase in quality, presentation and communication. You will also see a marked decrease in lead time for orders. (Its still custom, so you'll still have to wait a little!) We've also started some partnerships with related businesses so you will see some new products pop up for sale as well. All super exciting things happening!
I want to take this opportunity to personally apologize to all of you who were affected by all that went on and the delays some of you have experienced. We will make it up to you. My wife and I have taken out substantial loans to make this dream of the American/local small business a reality. Our personal liability and drive to keep this company going speaks to our passion and dedication to CDX. I appreciate everyone's understanding and look forward to working with and speaking with all of you as we rebuild CDX back into the custom stix powerhouse we are!
Remember, I'm always here for you, so email me anytime!