The Caledonia resident SC Johnson is suing for taking company property is planning to fight back.
Michael DeGuelle, SCJ's former state tax manager, said in an interview Tuesday he was fired on April 10 for reporting confidential company information to the U.S. Department of Labor.
DeGuelle, who worked for SCJ for 12 years, says he was acting as a "whistleblower," who reported potential corporate fraud to federal investigators. He believes his actions are protected under the laws put in place after corruption was uncovered at Enron and other major corporations.
He said he intends to lay out his case in court as early as June 1.
"I would suggest people stay tuned," DeGuelle said in a phone interview. "It's going to get a lot more interesting."
SC Johnson Spokeswoman Kelly Semrau did not respond to our attempt to contact her Tuesday. But she told The Journal Times in a May 5 article that DeGuelle's allegations of fraud are "completely and patently false."
SC Johnson is suing DeGuelle for allegedly trying to shake down the company. A lawsuit filed April 28 alleges DeGuelle attempted to trade confidential company documents for money and other benefits.
DeGuelle denied the charges. He said he routinely emailed documents home to work after business hours. He also said he deleted all company documents in his possession.
"I regularly sent work home to work on them," DeGuelle said. "We were allowed to send them from work to home."
"When they terminated me," he added, "I didn’t have anything at home. I certainly had documents on work computer. I worked on all kinds of confidential things there."
DeGuelle said he took the confidential information to the Department of Labor presuming he would be protected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in 2002 to prevent corporate fraud.
He also said he brought his allegations, which he declined to reveal in detail, to company officials prior to being fired.
"I have no SCJ documents," DeGuelle said. "The only knowledge I have is in my head."