NBC4 Fact Check: “The court record did affirm Dolan’s claim that Moreno got rid of evidence.”

Columbus, OH – In case you missed it, following Monday night’s debate NBC4 Columbus did a deep dive into court documents related to the litany of past employees who sued Bernie Moreno for wage theft. They concluded that Matt Dolan was accurate when he said that Bernie Moreno shredded document he was instructed to protect.

Fact check: Did Senate candidate Bernie Moreno shred documents accusing him of wage theft?

“During a debate between Republican candidates in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race, state Sen. Matt Dolan accused businessman Bernie Moreno of shredding evidence against him in a court case.

Dolan, Moreno and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose met Monday in a debate seen on NBC4.

‘Bernie, we learned this week that we don’t know if we can trust you,’ Dolan said. ‘Your employees trusted you to follow a court order and to not destroy documents that helped their case against you. What did you do? You shredded those documents because it helped Bernie Moreno, not the employees. This is a matter of trust.’

“Dolan’s claims allude to a lawsuit filed against Moreno in 2017 by former employee Omar Adem, who worked for him at a Mercedes-Benz dealership in Burlington, Massachusetts. The lawsuit alleged that Moreno had failed to pay Adem for overtime hours as far back as 2015.

“Court records from August 2022 show that Moreno said in a deposition that he received monthly reports telling him if anyone worked overtime in the dealership. However, Moreno testified that he did not retain documents from the dealership when he sold it as part of M11 Motors LLC to new owners. Moreno added that he shredded documents sometime in late 2020.

The court record did affirm Dolan’s claim that Moreno got rid of evidence.

‘The inference is clear: Defendants either did not retain or shredded at least these monthly reports,’ a judge wrote in the documents.

“Moreno and his legal team argued in court that the missing documents ‘never’ had salespeople on them. But the court said that Moreno’s word was not enough.

“‘Plaintiffs should not be forced to take Moreno’s word about the substance of these reports,’ the records read and further said that Moreno had an obligation to keep such reports.”

Read the full report from NBC4 Columbus by clicking here.

Background

Bernie Moreno has come under fire in recent days for refusing to disclose lawsuit settlement details and ignoring directives from a Massachusetts court to preserve legal documents. In a deposition, Moreno admitted to shredding the documents. Dolan hammered Moreno on his legal troubles during Monday’s U.S. Senate GOP Primary Debate.


Matt Dolan, Ohio GOP Sen. Debate, Jan 22, 2024

“Former car dealership owner turned GOP candidate Bernie Moreno, whose Ohio Senate race could determine whether Republicans regain control of the chamber, settled over a dozen wage theft lawsuits in the months before launching his campaign last year, according to court documents reviewed by Business Insider. Those settlements came after a jury ordered Moreno to pay over $400,000 to two former employees at his Massachusetts dealership for failing to pay overtime in accordance with state labor laws. As he faced those lawsuits, Moreno admitted in a deposition to shredding documents containing information that was potentially relevant to the case, despite being instructed to preserve records — drawing a rebuke from a state judge.” (Metzger, Brian. “Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate shredded documents as he faced a lawsuit accusing him of wage theft” Business Insider, Jan 19, 2024)

“In January 2023, Moreno settled 14 of the 16 related lawsuits, court records show. Just 3 months later in April 2023, Moreno launched his comeback bid for US Senate … Moreno’s campaign did not disclose those settlement amounts to Business Insider, and lawyers for Adem and the other former employees declined to comment for this story.” (Metzger, Brian. “Trump-backed Ohio Senate candidate shredded documents as he faced a lawsuit accusing him of wage theft” Business Insider, Jan 19, 2024)

Bernie Moreno has come under fire in recent days for refusing to disclose lawsuit settlement details and ignoring directives from a Massachusetts court to preserve legal documents. In a deposition, Moreno admitted to shredding the documents. It was branded by pundits as “news of the night…” More information:


WKYC TV Cleveland, Jan 18, 2024

“Bernie Moreno, a Trump-backed candidate for Ohio’s crucial U.S. Senate seat who touts his success in business, faced multiple lawsuits alleging discrimination against employees in the run-up to the sale of his high-end Cleveland car dealership, an Associated Press review has found. Three discrimination suits were filed in Cuyahoga County between 2015 and 2017. Two accused Moreno and Bernie Moreno Cos. of gender and age discrimination, respectively. The third, in which Moreno was not named, alleged race discrimination against a dealership run by a BMC subsidiary.” (Carr Smyth, Julie. “Businessman Bernie Moreno, Trump’s Senate pick in Ohio, faced discrimination lawsuits, the AP finds” Associated Press, Jan. 17, 2024)

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