Friday, April 26, 2013

Jack Falfas to Return to Cedar Fair?

It was back in June of 2010 when Jack Falfas, COO of Cedar Fair at the time, suddenly left the company without any notice or fanfare.  The rumor mill worked over time with regard to the departure, but what ended up being clear was that Mr. Falfas felt that he was wrongfully terminated and the result has been in the courts for years.

Since separating from Cedar Fair Mr. Falfas has worked as a part of Reamusement, a company aimed at helping existing parks perform extensive maintenance on their attractions.  He is also involved in one of the bids to take over Rye Playland, though it remains to be seen if that will go anywhere in the end.

But back to the story at hand - in 2011 the case went to arbitration and it was decided that Mr. Falfas should be reinstated and received back pay, but that decision was appealed by Cedar Fair.  A common pleas court then decided that he should receive back pay and benefits, but not be reinstated.  After another appeal a judge just ruled that Mr. Falfas should indeed be reinstated, and receive back pay and benefits.

Speaking through his lawyer, it seems Mr. Falfas wants to and is ready to go back to work as COO of Cedar Fair.  That position is currently held by Richard Zimmerman who has also been with the company for over two decades.

Now I'm not a lawyer but it seems that Cedar Fair can again challenge the ruling and send this to the state's Supreme Court - something that I imagine would again delay any action for years.  Since the fight was between Mr. Falfas and former CEO Richard Kinzel the whole thing feels like bad press at this point... we will have to wait to see what the company does.  They are currently "reviewing the ruling to determine what the appropriate next steps will be" according to the news article.

This sort of thing is not that uncommon in the world of big business - but interesting to us fans of the company especially because many thought Mr. Falfas would be Mr. Kinzel's replacement when he retired.  The company has made great strides forward under their new CEO, Matt Ouimet, adding another layer to an already complicated story.  We'll have to stay tuned.