Accents: US English; Australian English
Relationship: CFO Zodiaq Industrial Group; Minor Shareholder
Date: Friday, February, 19th
Location: Police Interrogation Room #2
Detective Todd: Thanks for coming down here today, Mr Hall. I know you must be busy given recent events.
Witness: It’s the least I could do. I’m happy to help with this awful turn of events in any way I can.
Detective Todd: Sorry, we have to ask, where were you last Sunday.
Witness: I was in San Dominico all weekend long, working on financingTrying to arrange for a loan for this East Newoma expansion.
Detective Todd: That’s the one that sparked all the protests last summer, isn’t it?
Witness: Yes, that’s right.
Detective Lee: Did you stay overnight or return to Newoma on Sunday?
Witness: I got back pretty late on Sunday. I like that drive less every time I do it.
Detective Lee: What time exactly?
Witness: It must have been after 11.
Detective Todd: And your negotiationsDiscussions; often about legal contracts went well?
Witness: Quite well, in fact. We’re nowhere near being finished but we’re definitely moving in the right direction.
Detective Todd: At the firm, what were relations like between Mr Armstrong and his employees.
Witness: Reynard was a hard man to like. There was always a certain amount of tension when he was around. As far as it goes, I think he treated people fairly, if a little coldly perhaps. He rewarded excellence and loyalty well. He is… I mean, was, pretty brutal with those who screw up. Completely unforgiving. You only got one chance.
Detective Todd: Any disgruntledUnhappy. employees that stand out?
Witness: A few, I suppose. Though the biggest rift was between Reynard and Bruno, Bruno Wolfe. They did not agree at all on the expansion. Bruno did not believe that Reynard was taking Zodiaq in the right direction.
Detective Lee: Oh, why not?
Witness: As you have seen, hazardous waste is just too controversial. He believed it damaged the brand, made it hard to bid on the easy money, municipal waste and recycling projects.
Detective Todd: Mr Armstrong was the majority shareholder, wasn’t he?
Witness: Well, that’s interesting. Yes, he was but on his death, his preferred shares reverted to common shares. Whoever inherits those shares will not have a controlling interest in the company.
Detective Todd: Oh, how’s that?
Witness: When we formed the company we put in a shotgun clause. Upon the death of any of us founders, preferred shares immediately revert to non-voting common shares. The idea was to protect the founders. [Laughing] I’m sure Reynard thought he was exempt from death, that’s why he insisted on it.
Detective Lee: So how has that upset the apple cart?
Witness: It’s too early to say but my 10 percent is now worth 30 percent. It also puts Bruno in control now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire East Newoma project is cancelled.
Detective Todd: That is a very interesting development. Well, I think we don’t have any further questions at this time. How about you, Huck?
Detective Lee: No, I’m good for the moment.
Witness: We have an emergency board meeting next Wednesday. I can give you an update after that.
Detective Todd: Perfect. I’ll definitely be calling you.
Detective Lee: Thanks for coming in Mr. Hall.
Witness: Not at all. I hope we can put this unpleasantness behind us quickly.
[Chairs scraping; door closing]
Detective Lee: What do you think?
Detective Todd: There’s a lot there. Your business partner and friend dies, would you call that ‘unpleasantness’. I think I’d be looking for a stronger word.
Detective Lee: I found that a bit odd too. We need to talk to this Bruno sooner than later.
Detective Todd: See if you can set up an appointment for this afternoon. You know what they say, ‘Follow the Money!’
Detective Lee: On it….