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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WATCHDOGS VS. LAPDOGS: SEC Investigation Of Dow CEO and President Andrew Liveris Heats Up; Reuters Series Reveals Exclusive Details Of 'Questionable Spending Habits' By Liveris



You won't read any of these details in the p-whipped Midland Daily News, but Reuters has done a stunning job with its investigation of Dow CEO Andrew Liveris and the allegations of his misspending. The U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced in June a probe of Liveris’ spending habits following allegations that he used company funds for personal use. 

The SEC issued subpoenas for thousands of pages of documents and testimony that were brought last year by a former Dow employee and fraud investigator, Kimberly Wood.

Here's an excerpt from Part 3 of the Reuters series, examining the budget-busting H Hotel in Midland, which exceeded its $25 million budget by an estimated $13 million. (Read the first two installments of the Reuters series: Part 1 and Part 2.)

MIDLAND, Michigan – When Dow Chemical Co began renovating the hotel it owns here, the industrial giant spared little expense.

From 2006 through 2008, Dow turned the former Ashman Court Hotel into a luxury destination. Out went the tile in the lobby. In the rebranded H Hotel, guests walk on Crema Marfil marble from southeast Spain.

Also gone are the old restaurant and its $9.95 lunch buffet with dessert bar. Now the hotel boasts a fine-dining establishment where, planning documents show, prices would be “2 notches up” from what the market will bear. The H has a private dining room with bullet-proof glass, where CEO Andrew Liveris, a regular visitor to the White House, can entertain VIPs.

By most accounts, the H Hotel is a source of pride here in Dow’s hometown of Midland, population 42,000.

The remodeling didn’t go off without a hitch, though. At completion, it exceeded its $25 million budget by an estimated $13 million. This year, the company settled a lawsuit by one of its former investigators, Kimberly Wood. She alleged she was fired years after she investigated the H Hotel and other spending issues relating to CEO Liveris, according to documents filed in her case.

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