DA Says DTC's Craig Gates Not Under Investigation for Extortion

March 1, 2013
Dwayne Page
Randy York
Craig Gates

The District Attorney General's Office is not conducting an extortion investigation in connection with allegations made by two former employees of DTC Communications who have brought a wrongful termination federal lawsuit against the company and it's CEO Craig Gates.

In an interview with WJLE Friday, Randy York, District Attorney General for the 13th Judicial District, said that "an attorney for one of the plaintiff's had contacted the district attorney general's office and asked that we open an investigation. He had some material he wanted me to look at. I reviewed the material and I did not see a violation of our criminal statutes and did not authorize an investigation," said York.

As WJLE reported earlier this week, Claiming they were the victims of a scheme to get rid of them and others, James A Vaden of Carthage and Kevin C. Young of Smithville, the two former DTC employees, filed a federal court lawsuit against DTC Communications and Craig Gates in November claiming they were the victims of extortion and wrongful termination. Vaden and Young contend that the defendants, DTC and Gates, wrongfully interfered with their employee benefits and improperly denied them their severance benefits.

Attorneys for Vaden and Young included in the lawsuit that "As of the date of filing this Complaint, investigators in the 13th and 15th Judicial Districts are exploring criminal charges of extortion against Gates based on his actions leading up to Vaden's and Young's termination, focusing in particular on the specifics of the Agreement of Suspension".

Again, York said neither Gates nor DTC Communications is under investigation for extortion by his office.
The dismissal of both Vaden and Young apparently was the result of a probe into allegations that a group of DTC employees had participated in a scheme to sell copper cable owned by the company for their own benefit. Vaden and Young claim they did not participate in such a scheme.

Gates and DTC Communications have answered the lawsuit, denying the allegations made by Vaden and Young.

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