Note: The following is being shared as a courtesy. The words are not mine and do not necessarily reflect that of The Tavern - Erik Tenkar
I was somewhat surprised to hear that Marcus King’s business has been greatly affected by the entire situation with the Kickstarter projects and would hope that people would do business with Marcus again. While I can understand people not doing business with any business that Whitman is running, it is not right that people would want to ruin Marcus for his friendship to Ken Whitman over the years plus it hurts the people that work for Marcus and that is not something we want to do or be part of.
Putting Marcus King out of business and getting people laid off is not something we want to be remembered for because of Ken Whitman.
I sent an apology to Marcus King on Tuesday early afternoon for everything he had been through with 'the process' and was not aware of how much people had been taking it out on Marcus, his store, and his employees. 'The Process' is ugly at times, but usually, the only way to get to the truth and unavoidable in situations like these, and for this, I apologize to the other people who got stuck in this and the effect it has had on them.
While anyone can understand not wanting to do business with Whitman after everything that happened with the projects and being lied to over the past three years, Marcus was not responsible for doing that. People did not like Marcus helping Whitman BUT If Marcus did not do his part in all of this, Whitman would have never come back to Kentucky, never took over the second store and never filed the LLC that allowed me to find an address for Whitman and have him served for the court case. If it was not for the fact that Whitman was put into the store that he was, I would have had a much harder time getting Whitman served and everything that followed from the court case. It is also possible that if Marcus King was not who he was, and played the role that he played in this entire situation, that I would have not been able to finally figure out what happened and get the admission from Whitman that we did.
For this, Marcus King had a very important role to play and we should all be grateful that he was able to play that role, which he did at great cost to himself and his business.
Some people may think that Whitman is getting away with something, but I assure you, that probably within something like 18 to 24 months, Whitman will get more than anyone could ever wish on a person. It is the way things simply work in the world and not anything that can be stopped. My expectation is that the IRS/Feds have taken notice of Whitman taking in over $170K+ in revenue and never filed any taxes on any of it. Whitman couldn’t file any taxes because he took in all that money with a company that never existed. As anyone who has ever had any kind of tax problems knows, having any kind of tax-related problem is not a good way to start the day, having $170K+ in not filed taxes on a company that never existed is simply an easy way to go to jail, especially when you can’t pay those taxes anymore and shift assets around like you are hiding assets. While Whitman could try to fix the situation by filing all of the missing taxes, I think that Whitman is simply not mentally and emotionally capable of the journey that would be.
I know that everyone is probably in absolute shock at the truth of the raw footage being gone. While there is a small chance that the individual where the devices were left might have something, and I sent inquiries last night and this morning, I have heard nothing back. Plus, as incredible as it seems, Whitman apparently made no effort whatsoever over the past three years to even ask his friend if he had made an extensive search for the devices, even after the court case was filed or he was in negotiations earlier this year with Jolly plus Kenzer and Company about turning over the footage. It would be one thing if Whitman contacted his friend and found out the devices were really and truly gone, but it is incredible that Whitman has not even had any contact with the guy for a while.
But all of this is and was Whitman’s responsibility, I ask that people NOT take it out on Marcus King and his employees, or Whitman's ex-wife or Whitman's kids. I have apologized to Marcus King for what he went through as part of what I call, ‘the process’, but it was unavoidable in situations like this. We are supposed to be doing something that is fun, not at each other throats over money or something like Whitman’s antics.
I think that anyone who deals with Whitman eventually regrets it, so if Marcus King is to be somehow punished for dealing with Ken Whitman, let Ken Whitman do what he does best and be the one to melt out said punishment, not any of us.
Apparently, Whitman does currently have something in writing so Marcus King can't do anything about Whitman working in the second store by contract and Jim Sears is sort of stuck because if Whitman does not keep paying the lease until the end near the end of next year, Sears will be stuck with making lease payments on the space for a failed store. I think that at this point it is highly likely that Whitman's store simply will not make it to the end of the lease and would not be surprised to even see the landlord lock Whitman out of the space. (How long can a failed store keep going in a small town?)
I am reminded of a scene from a movie with Dustin Hoffman (can’t find the clip but if someone can could you please post it?) movie where there is something crazy going on. He is divorced and his son plus sons’ friends are at his house. Then something like his ex-wife's new husband comes over to the get the son, but the son does not want to go with the stepdad, so everyone runs up to the roof and barricades it. The stepdad, on the ground, calls the police, who come over and everyone is screaming and yelling all over the place. Eventually, Dustin’s character shouts down from the rooftop and says something like, “Hey I got a court order that I am supposed to have visitation this weekend”. The police officer looks at the stepdad and says, “Is this true?” The stepdad then sheepishly looks down and says, “Yes, it is.”
The next seen is everyone is in the kitchen, with everyone now friends, signing reports to explain what happened and the stepfather profusely apologizing to Hoffman’s character and the police, at which point Hoffman’s character says to the stepdad, “No one who is married to my ex-wife Gloria ever has to apologize to me for anything they ever do”, showing that he understands that anyone who is around her will inevitably do something that seems completely unreasonable, even crazy but can’t be avoided, is to be expected and just simply not avoidable if you are stuck dealing with them.
In the same way, I would ask people to understand that the people around Ken Whitman are stuck in a similar situation and many of them simply have no way to get Ken to NOT do the things he does, and to NOT take it out on those people, especially Whitman's ex-wife, Whitman’s kids or Marcus King and his employees.
Louis J. Desy Jr.
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