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Crain's Chicago Business reports that a lawsuit has been filed against Bill Bolton. head of the investment group that bought the now-bankrupt Chicago gourmet grocer Fox & Obel. The charge: that Bolton used investment money intended for the grocer as a "private piggy bank."

According to the story, "The investors, who say they gave Mr. Bolton $375,000 to put into Fox & Obel, allege that he diverted $200,000 to himself in late 2010 or early 2011 while failing to pay or slowly paying vendors, employees and rent. They further allege that financial statements indicate he has not repaid it to date." All this at a time when Fox & Obel was $600,000 in debt.

Crain's writes that "Mr. Bolton says in court documents that the payment was a mistake by his administrative assistant, who directed the wire transfer of an investment intended for Vulpes LLC, the company he created to acquire and operate Fox & Obel, into another account. He says the accountant fixed the error by recording it as a loan on his accrued management fees and says he paid the loan back in full by January 2012.

"Now, according to documents, Mr. Bolton admits the $200,000 was funneled to Zapatista Holdings LLC, his chain of three Mexican restaurants in the South Loop, north suburban Northbrook and west suburban Naperville. According to the documents, the $200,000 was used by Zapatista for operating expenses including rent, taxes, construction expenses, furniture and kitchen equipment."

Meanwhile, Crain's reports, Bolton has lost another job he had - chairman of packaging company Bemis Co. No reason has been given for that move, though the Bemis job dopes factor into the lawsuit, since the investors charge that taking the post there distracted Bolton from his Fox & Obel responsibilities.
KC's View:
When talking about Kroger's leadership, above, I used words like "decency" and "servant leadership."

One gets the feeling that these are not words likely to be used anytime soon when writing about this story.