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In Brief: Taking on the SEC… Union Charges

The former chief merchandising officer for A?ropostale Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging it...

TAKING ON THE SEC: The former chief merchandising officer for Aéropostale Inc. filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging it improperly obtained information in a probe related to his firing from the teen retailer. According to media reports, Christopher Finazzo filed the lawsuit late Tuesday in Manhattan federal court. He said in the complaint that the SEC used information it got from privileged communication between him and his lawyer, and a subpoena served on him was therefore improper. Aéropostale fired Finazzo in 2006 and said in a filing with the SEC in November of that year that he was terminated following an investigation. Allegedly, the company said, Finazzo failed to notify it that he had personal ownership interests in one of its largest vendors, which led to a formal investigation by the regulator. Finazzo alleged in court documents that Aéropostale fired him based on an e-mail he received from his attorney about his personal financial interests.

This story first appeared in the March 6, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

UNION CHARGES: Cintas Corp. said it filed a lawsuit accusing UNITE HERE, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and umbrella organization Change to Win of extortion involving activities related to a six-year nationwide organizing drive targeting the company. Cintas said the labor organizations “carried on a campaign of negative, untrue and unlawful attacks…to extort concessions” so that UNITE HERE and the teamsters would become the official bargaining representatives for employees without their free consent. UNITE HERE said it would “vigorously defend” itself. The teamsters declined to comment because the group had not seen the documents. Change to Win did not respond to requests for comment.