As it tries to turn the page of two decades of dysfunction, the Washington Football Team continues to have problems at the ownership level. These problems continue to partially play out in court.
Friction exists between majority owner Daniel Snyder and his minority partners, including Dwight Schar. Although the acrimony apparently started over money, business has gotten personal in recent months, with Snyder systematically trying to tie Schar to an apparent effort to sufficiently besmirch Snyder so that he’ll have no choice but to sell his interest in the team.
The latest twist entails Comstock Holding Companies, a business owned in part by Schar, going on the offensive against Norman Chirite, a former member of the Comstock board of directors and a former Special Independent Director. In a complaint filed earlier this month in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia, Comstock seeks a declaratory judgment (basically, a ruling that sets forth certain rights and responsibilities) regarding Chirite’s ongoing fiduciary and ethical duties to Comstock and any legal work he is performing for Snyder, since leaving Comstock earlier this year.
Comstock claims that Chirite’s resignation occurred under circumstances that indicate the existence of a conflict of interest, given that Chirite allegedly is working on a legal matter for Snyder. Comstock alleges that, only days after Chirite’s abrupt resignation from Comstock, Snyder launched his multinational legal odyssey alleging defamation of character — litigation that includes an effort to get evidence from Comstock regarding any potential link to individuals who may have provided false information about Snyder to a website that published incorrect information about him.
The fight centers on Restricted Stock Units to which Chirite believes he is entitled. Comstock wants to know whether any fiduciary, ethical, or contractual duties were violated before agreeing to provide Chirite with the Restricted Stock Units.
In English, all of this means that Schar’s company, Comstock, believes that Chirite possibly is using information that he obtained while working for Comstock against the company in connection with Snyder’s defamation lawsuit, which includes an attempt to prove that Comstock or Schar had a role in the instigation of the false stories linking Snyder to Jeffrey Epstein.
The mere fact that Comstock has filed the lawsuit suggests that the company has information that would tend to bolster Snyder’s allegations. Otherwise, there would be no reason for Chirite to use such information, and there would be no reason for Comstock to be concerned about it.
While the end result could be that Chirite loses his Comstock Restricted Stock Units, it also could be that Snyder moves closer to proving that one or more of his minority partners were indeed trying to bring him down.