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Marketing Consultant Sues Naval Academy for $5.16 Million

Robert Thompson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore that alleges the academy's athletic association failed to pay money owed after canceling his contract.

The U.S. Naval Academy Athletic Association is being sued for $5.16 million by a sports marketing consultant who claims the academy still owes him money from a canceled contract.

Robert Thompson, who is a 1967 Academy graduate, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on Sept. 7 against the Naval Academy Athletic Association, Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk and the Naval Academy Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller.

Associate Athletic Director Scott Strasemeier said he could not comment on pending ligation, but a Naval Academy official told Patch he believes the Athletic Association will be dropped from the lawsuit shortly.

The Naval Academy itself has not yet returned Patch's request for comment.

The court filing documents state that Thompson marketed sports and sporting events from his home in New Jersey until 2006 when he secured a contract with the Naval Academy and its Athletic Association “to provide a range of marketing services to both entities.”

As a condition of that contract, Thompson states that he relocated his family to Annapolis.

He claims his contract was extended for three years in 2008 and again in 2010. However, in early 2011 the documents allege that Gladchuk "began to falsely suggest that Thompson's services were no longer needed."

And in May 2011, the academy terminated his contract.

The court documents state that Thompson believes his termination and subsequent investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service—which Thomson alleges was baseless—have destroyed his reputation.

He asked for a jury trial and $1.64 million in compensatory damages, $3.15 million in punitive damages and $375,000 for expenses—like selling his home—that occurred as a result of the alleged breach of contract.

According to the court documents, Thompson states that "the defendants have consistently evidenced extreme bad faith by dismissing Thompson's every request to resolve this matter, and, to this day, have consistently demonstrated callous and malicious indifference to the pain and suffering they have imposed on Thompson and his family."

The documents further allege that Thompson's treatment is "symptomatic of the dysfunctional, arrogant and self-serving senior leadership model that impedes progress, mismanages resources, frustrates oversight, and prevents USNA from being the very best it can and must be."

John Frenaye September 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM
There are some parallels between this suit and the one pending in Ireland against the Athletic Assn.

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