Shouldn’t you have some kind of degree when you are playing around with radioactive waste?
The chief operating officer of Perma-Fix Environmental Services Inc., which manages low-level radioactive and hazardous waste, has finally resigned after misrepresenting his academic credentials. But that wasn’t the company’s first answer to this question.
It’s another victory for Barry Minkow, (pictured left) a former felon who makes a living shorting stocks and ratting out executives who’ve lied on their resumes. I’ve written several columns on Minkow, founder of the San Diego-based Fraud Discovery Institute, including this one where I turned him into a verb.
I have been amazed, though, at the number of executives who have survived the Minkow menace, including a top executive at CSX Corp. Click here to read more about that case.
Most of us would be fired if someone found out we had lied on our resumes, but maybe not if we work in the C-level executive suite, where the guys in charge like to pretend they can do no wrong.
In the end, Perma-Fix’s Larry MacNamara wasn’t as lucky as some of other Minkow targets, who’ve gotten off with a slap on the wrist, if even that.
I love how the company’s position eroded in filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s best to read it in the company’s own words.
Here’s what Perma-Fix said first.
“On July 10, 2009, Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (the “Company”) became aware that the academic credentials of Mr. Larry McNamara, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company, have been misreported in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The incorrect information was provided to the Company by Mr. McNamara, and the Company relied on the information provided by Mr. McNamara. Mr. McNamara had incorrectly advised and represented to the Company that he was a graduate of the University of Iowa, which was incorrect. Mr. McNamara is not a college graduate. The Company will report the correct information regarding Mr. McNamara’s academic credentials in future reports filed with the SEC. Although the Board of Directors of the Company is considering appropriate action, if any, to address this issue, the Board of Directors believes that Mr. McNamara’s 10+ years of experience with the Company and 12+ additional years in the mixed waste and low level radioactive waste industries, including his former position with the U.S. Department of Defense, has demonstrated Mr. McNamara’s requisite qualifications and abilities for his current office with the Company.
Here’s what it said second:
“On July 29, 2009, Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (the “Company”) accepted the resignation of Mr. Larry McNamara, as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company. The resignation is effective September 1, 2009. Mr. McNamara’s duties as Chief Operating Officer will be temporarily assumed by Dr. Louis F. Centofanti, the Company’s Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, while the Company commences a search for a new Chief Operating Officer.”
Kudos to the board for finally making the right decision. Glad to hear they don’t call themselves Perma-Fix for nothing.