Some crazy details are finally emerging in a lawsuit brought by a number of bodyguards that worked for Portland Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen's Vulcan, Inc.
Back in October 2011, members of his security team, including a former FBI agent and a Navy Corpsman, filed a lawsuit against Allen and his sister Jody, who serves as Vulcan's CEO. In March 2012, it was revealed that the lawsuit alleged that Paul and Jody Allen ordered the bodyguards to "participate in illegal activities" and Jody was accused of making "inappropriate and sexual comments" to one of the bodyguards. Vulcan maintained that the lawsuit was "baseless."
On Thursday, Levi Pulkkinen of the Seattle PI reported that the "illegal activities" alleged in the suit include an accusation that Jody tried to sneak giraffe bones out of Botswana without following the proper exportation protocol.
Luggage packed with giraffe bones could mean trouble for Vulcan CEO Jody Allen and her brother -- Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner Paul Allen -- as lawsuits filed by the siblings' bodyguards proceed. The allegation - that Jody Allen tried to sneak home the bones while on safari in Botswana - is the most concrete claim made so far by a group of former Vulcan Inc. bodyguards who've sued both Allens and their firm, which was founded by Paul Allen, who remains the company's chairman.
In June 2011, Leodler learned a safari guide was detained by Botswana customs officials after Jody Allen was caught with giraffe bones in her luggage, Roe said in court documents. The incident prompted Leodler to conduct an investigation that left her concerned her team was being asked to bribe foreign officials, falsify customs declarations and smuggle protected items.
"Jody Allen had bones in her luggage she sought to remove from the country illegally," Roe claimed in court documents. "A Vulcan ‘Africa After Action' trip review, and (Leodler's) further inquiries revealed this was part of a pattern of conduct by the owners."
A spokeswoman for Vulcan declined to discuss the allegations in detail. Attorneys for the Allens have issued a blanket denial of all claims of wrongdoing.
Attorneys for the former employees have said they will call dozens of Vulcan employees to testify should the lawsuits end up before a jury. Paul and Jody Allen are expected to be called to the stand, as are at least 15 current and former executive protection officers, the Allens' pilot and yacht captain, and Jody Allen's personal assistants. Other Vulcan executives also have been named on witness lists filed with the court.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter