Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Luke Westerman is back in Ohio. Things are not going well for him. An update.

Luke Westerman returned to Franklin County, was booked into the Franklin County jail and has posted bond.  It is unclear if the conditions of his bond require him to stay in Ohio but he has no reason to return to Texas.  The El Paso Humane Society has terminated him.

While Westerman stated in a recent televised interview that no one had ever questioned his ethics, that does not appear to be quite correct.  The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted him on 19 counts.  Those serving on the Franklin County Grand Jury appear to question Westerman's ethics. A months-long investigation was done by KFOX14 News.  KFOX 14 makes some interesting points when they state "it is clear he is not who he appears to be."

Ohio court records show a judge ordered him to pay his former employer, Ameriprise, almost $200,000. Money he hasn't paid."

Reporters for TV News Stations seldom initiate a months-long investigation into the lives and backgrounds of city residents if there is no reason to question the ethics of that individual.

I have read the indictments, they certainly point to ethics violations. You can read them yourself.  Click on this news story. Charges are included in the text.

Three members of the Board of Directors of the El Paso Humane Society resigned due to their concerns about Westerman's background. Questioned his ethics?  Apparently so.

Greg Leach, a former Solomon Global Holdings (Westerman's company) employee in Columbus stated that those working for Solomon Global Holdings received excuses but no actual paychecks.  Mr. Leach considered this an ethical violation for sure. Leach told KFOX 28 reporters in Columbus  "Whoever he touched was affected by some sort of unethical behavior. "Everybody's out to get what's theirs. Luke did a great job of teaching me that."

Leach noted that as Solomon Global Holdings began to fizzle Westerman turned to animal activism. KFOX 28 in Columbus Ohio noted  "Westerman later resurfaced as an animal rights activist in Columbus, primarily advocating for pitbulls. He parlayed that into the Texas job."

Per KFOX14 " It also appears Westerman claimed to have run the Westerman Family Foundation, but no records exist to indicate the foundation is registered with the IRS or Ohio Secretary of State."  This appears to be an ethical problem.  There is an actual Westerman Family Foundation but it is a completely different Westerman Family.

KFOX 14 also states that Westerman is not in fact, a college graduate.  He does not have a Bachelor's Degree despite frequently claiming one.  Westerman prepared a biographical handout to be given to lawmakers when he testified.  The handout states "Mr. Westerman is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University where he earned a BS in Finance and Marketing." You can read it for your self.
Westerman makes the same claim here, on his 2015 website, lukewesterman.com. One does not ethically claim academic qualifications one has not earned.  If KFOX 14 has made this accusation in error this should be very easy to clear up.  Produce a diploma or even a cap-and-gown photo.  Every graduate gets a cap-and-gown photo and every parent of a college graduate frames and proudly displays their son or daughter's photo. Westerman's parents live in the Columbus area and should be able to supply the picture if Westerman has lost his.

Per KFOX 14 "A search of county records in Ohio shows numerous pending judgments against Westerman including tax liens from the state, garnishment orders and a judgment against Solomon Global Holdings, his venture capital firm, for breach of contract."  

These pending judgments point to ethical lapses.

The Ohio charges against Westerman are already impacting donations to the El Paso Humane Society.  This is sad.
Jeffery Luke Westerman
Booking photo of Luke Westerman.

Mr. Westerman made a statement on Facebook.  “To the thousands of you who have texted, called and direct messaged your words of love, support and encouragement (you know who you are), my family and I are eternally grateful for your kind heart, thoughtfulness and discernment,”  “This too shall pass and good will prevail, as it always does in the end. That fact gives me endless strength and confidence. And in the interim, I will continue to use all of my energy to make the world a better place for animals and people. God bless you, my friends."  

In his Facebook remarks, Westerman does not directly address his arrest, his firing or the 19 fraud charges he was indicted on in Ohio.

When asked for a statement by an NBC4 reporter Westerman sent the reporter, Tom Sussi a message via Facebook
 “I would never do anything unethical,” “It is completely against every single fiber of my being and everything I stand for."

Westerman pleaded not guilty to all 19 charges.  Mr. Westerman is innocent until proven guilty.  This will be an unattractive trial.

As a final thought and a final link, Please click here.  Westerman gave his thoughts on ethical living on his website lukewesterman.com, currently found only in Internet archives.  The quotes are set into tasteful colored blocks in a pleasant font. You sort of expect these quotes came from the Bible or that they were the words of Gandhi.

"The world is hectic and most people are focused on themselves.
I prefer a simpler life focused on helping others."
Luke Westerman

"Genuine concern for the welfare of others to the point
of action is the hallmark of altruism."
Luke Westerman

There is a whole lot going on here. A lot of that may be ethical violations.  It is up to the justice system in Ohio to sort this out.