An article in the Salt Lake City Weekly quoting "Super" Dell Schanze is becoming a super pain for the well-known computer retailer.
A former employee of Totally Awesome Computers, who recently settled a federal religious discrimination suit against Schanze, is now suing him for defamation based on comments Schanze made to the alternative weekly newspaper in July regarding some former disgruntled employees.
In the suit filed in 3rd District Court, William Carlton May alleges that Schanze violated the terms of a confidential court settlement by defaming him in the article.
According to the suit, May settled with Schanze on the eve of a federal trial on allegations that Schanze discriminated against employees who were not of the LDS faith. That settlement was struck on June 22. About a month later, Schanze gave an interview to the Salt Lake City Weekly, in which he is quoted as calling disgruntled former employees "heinously evil" and "complete liars."
Schanze is also quoted as accusing May of being responsible for the business having $650,000 stolen and implying that May settled his federal suit for $2 million — allegations that May says are false.
May is the second former Totally Awesome Computers employee to sue Schanze for defamation. Last month, Sherri Young filed a federal suit after the same City Weekly article quoted Schanze as calling Young "the freaking ugliest chick you could possibly imagine," and accusing the former bookkeeper of stealing money from his company. Young says those allegations are defaming and false. Young also has made a claim of religious and sexual discrimination in her suit.
Schanze has said both May and Young are disgruntled employees who are out to take advantage of the justice system for monetary gain. He said he plans on fighting the suits.
May's defamation suit points out that as part of the settlement of his federal suit, Schanze agreed not to "disparage or speak poorly of May."
May is asking the court for at least $1.2 million in damages and is asking the court for permission to publicly release confidential information to counter Schanze's allegations.