But William J. Bolt, the namesake of the company’s founder, said he told the board on Monday that Jones was carrying out an online campaign — mainly on Twitter — using stolen identities and aliases to accuse Bolt and his family of arson. and elder abuse and securities law violations.
On Wednesday, Bolt filed a lawsuit in a Florida court asking to bar Jones from further use of online platforms to attack the family and to force him to pay up to $75,000.
“My grandfather spent 68 years of his life making sure the company was safe, so I consider that a spiritual mission,” Bolt told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I love this company and most of the employees are great. But I think you have the potential of some rogue executive who may have convinced themselves the rules don’t apply to them.”
Bolt’s attorneys also told the company’s general counsel, Todd Sheldon, to preserve documents related to Sheldon’s personal Twitter account, which was deleted after Bolt reached out to the board this week, Bolt said. “This deletion was very strange.”
The lawsuit was filed in a Florida court because Bolt lives in Palm Beach, according to the complaint.
Bolt cites tweets that were ostensibly by laid-off employees and others, all of which he said, were actually composed by Jones. At least one post implicitly accused Bolt of manipulating his grandfather. Another indicated that he suspected his father of starting a fire that burned down a country club.
None of those things were true, Bolt said.
The company his grandfather founded in Michigan in 1950 has generated $15.4 billion in revenue over the past four fiscal quarters. Bolt was on the company’s board of directors for nearly four years, leaving in 2020.
During his tenure, he had lobbied to replace the then CEO, who he felt had made choices that undermined the company’s commercial value. But then the new CEO, Ryan Marshall, wanted to name Jones chief operating officer.
Bolt said Jones – who was then running the company’s Michigan division – was not qualified for the senior position.
Bolt said it was not a personal matter. I would describe my relationship with him as non-existent. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken to him in my life.”
Over the past year, a series of online attacks on Bolt have begun, some using the identities of deceased people. He engaged a “trusted third party” forensic expert, who investigated and concluded that Jones was behind the campaign.
Bolt said Jones committed many of these actions on the job and while using the company’s computers. He has requested an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission as to whether regulations or laws have been violated. He hasn’t sued the company, but he hasn’t ruled it out.
“I look forward to getting some answers,” he said.
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