Tourist publication’s owner sues former CEO over alleged misappropriations

The owner of Las Vegas tourist publication What’s On, The Las Vegas Guide sued its former CEO on Friday charging mismanagement and misappropriation of company funds.

The suit was filed in Clark County District Court by Kellogg Media Holdings LLC against David Peeler.

Messages for comment on the allegations were left with Peeler at a number for him in Greenwich, Conn.; where court records show he has had an address; and by email. Records in another lawsuit show an address for him in Goleta, Calif., where a phone number for him couldn’t be located.

What’s On’s previous owner, Kellogg Media Group LLC, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in November 2009.

Peeler headed the company at that time.

Kellogg Media Holdings said in Friday’s complaint that it was formed also in November 2009 and later took over "What’s On."

Kellogg Media Holdings said in the lawsuit that Peeler was its first CEO and was fired for cause in October 2010.

The termination came after the company "experienced a decrease in revenue, an increase in expenses, a seemingly shrinking market for the What’s On magazine, widespread employee discontent, the lack of any cogent strategic plan to grow the company’s business and misappropriation by Peeler of company funds," the lawsuit says.

The suit claims Peeler used company funds through expense reimbursements to make personal mortgage payments, for nonbusiness meals at restaurants in Connecticut and elsewhere, for more than one vacation, for payments for a Porsche in Connecticut, for repairs to a Mercedez-Benz in Connecticut, for lacrosse equipment for his children and for contributions/donations to schools in Connecticut.

"Over a 13-month period, those personal and non-business expenses amounted to more than $500,000, which were reimbursed by Kellogg Media Holdings," the lawsuit claims.

It also alleges Peeler had engaged in self-dealing "by diverting Kellogg Media Holdings opportunities away from Kellogg and to companies formed/controlled by Peeler" and that he exposed Kellogg to significant liability by signing unauthorized contracts on behalf of Kellogg’s financier.

The suit asserts counts of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud and conversion.

It seeks unspecified damages and an order demanding an accounting of Peeler’s books and records and the return of the allegedly misappropriated funds.

A Linkedin profile for Peeler says that prior to joining Kellogg Media, he was president CEO at Velocity Media and at Competitive Media Reporting and was vice president of sales at Broadcast Data Systems/Billboard Magazine.

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