SCRANTON ‚?? The former publisher of The Times Leader on Friday filed a response to a lawsuit that seeks repayment of more than $250,000 in loans the company made him, claiming the publishing company failed to credit him for a loan and other financial sacrifices he made for the company.
Richard L. Connor, who served as publisher and chief executive officer of Wilkes-Barre Publishing LLC, also questions the veracity of the amount the media company‚??s owner, Versa Capital Management LLC, alleges he owes. Wilkes-Barre Publishing filed suit against Connor in May, alleging he reneged on an agreement to repay loans and personal credit card charges that were paid by the company during his tenure from April 2006 through October 2011.
In an answer to the complaint, Connor‚??s attorney, George Reihner, acknowledges Connor agreed to repay certain monies, but argues the company has failed to abide by an agreement that it would offset his debt by money he is owed. Reihner contends Connor took voluntary pay cuts and did not receive certain bonuses he had earned ‚??as a result of the newspaper‚??s financial condition.‚?Ě Connor also was not credited for unused vacation time, and was not provided an offset that would reflect the risk Connor assumed when he loaned the newspaper more than $1 million during his employment, Reihner said.
In addition, Reihner said the newspaper has failed to provide adequate documentation to support the amount it alleges he owes. Information the newspaper has provided has been ‚??incomplete, inaccurate and confusing,‚?Ě Reihner said.
Connor resigned his position at The Times Leader in October 2011. The company was purchased by Versa Capital Management in March, which acquired all assets of the newspaper and media company, including the debt owed by Connor.