If there is one thing that Rex likes to see, it’s people like Gordon Grigg getting what’s coming to them.
Grigg was caught earlier this year by the feds for running a Ponzi scheme. His last-ditch attempt to keep the fraud alive was by attempting to convince investors that he could get them into high-yielding notes issued by the government as part of the Treasury's Troubled Assets Relief Program.
He was sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission in January and was accused of duping at least 27 investors out of about $6.5 million. The investors told the court that Grigg preyed on their emotions, catching them off-guard during times of personal crisis and then sucking them in by talking like an old fashioned tent revival preacher.
Federal Judge Aleta Trauger threw the book at him, locking him away for 10 years, which is well above the federal sentencing guidelines. Instead of incarcerating him right away, Trauger let him explain why he should be allowed to “self-report,” a common practice for white-collar crime.
Grigg had said that he wanted to “prepare his family and children” for his extended sabbatical from their lives. His current wife, for example, is pregnant with their first child due in December. Of course when she got pregnant Grigg had already been exposed as a charlatan and was staring down a long stretch in the pokey. He also has kids from a previous marriage and a mistress he had during that marriage.
Rex thinks that the most recent pregnancy was an attempt by Grigg to get leniency in sentencing so he could get out of jail sooner. Trauger gave him the 30 days with his family after prosecutors did not object.
After sentencing was done Grigg was about to fitted for a “tether,” also known as an ankle monitor when federal authorities discovered that he had no home phone, just cell phones. When fitted with those devices, they have to be attached to a land line so you can be monitored. Grigg didn’t have one, so he went to jail that night and stayed in until his wife could get one installed.
McNeely Pigott & Foxhole
Rex has been watching with keen interest the saga surrounding local public relations guru McNeely Pigott & Fox and their billing of Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and the drive for a new convention center.
Metro council members such as Mike Jameson and Emily Evans, who have a history of leaving no stone unthrown, have been lobbing some big rocks in all directions after NewsChannel5’s Ben Hall broke the news that a $75,000 contract had surpassed the $450,000 mark and was still going north.
What really has Rex thinking is how badly this whole thing has been handled. Sometimes it seems that crisis managers need crisis managers. Rex is waiting to see if another round of this billing brouhaha will surface and MDHA and MP&F went out and hired other PR flaks like former partner Dave Cooley, Hall Strategies, or Tom Ingram to assist them in getting through this mess.
Another interesting angle in all of this is that Hall worked on former Congressman Bob Clement’s mayoral campaign. Rex knows Hall and is not implying any ulterior motives in his reporting — news is news and Ben hooked a big one. Rumors though were that during the campaign some Clement insiders doubted Hall’s instincts, which Rex is guessing they aren’t anymore.
Rex is waiting…
Last week, Rex started an unofficial drive to get the Grand Ole Opry to invite the Consul General of Japan Hiroshi Sato to perform on stage. Rex knows he is not the most influential person in town to make this happen, but so far he has not heard a word from Opry folks so he is pleading: Put the Consul General on stage!
It’s good PR (though no one is being paid) and you Opry people are on more in a week than there are reruns of Law & Order.
Seriously, you got Joe Diffie booked for the show and he hasn’t had a hit record since the Houston Oilers played in the Astrodome.
Rex Noseworthy appears Mondays in The City Paper.