Business

Ex-exec sues Hawker over pay

The former head of Hawker Beechcraft's Asia Pacific operations has filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging breach of contract involving $650,000 in severance pay.

Justin Firestone, who was based in Hong Kong, was terminated over allegations of expense account improprieties related to a September trip to Wichita, according to the lawsuit filed this week.

The company has failed to provide documents of the accounting related to the allegations despite multiple requests, according to the lawsuit.

Firestone became president of Hawker Beechcraft International Service Co.' s Asia Pacific office on Dec. 2, 2009. According to the lawsuit, his employment agreement stated that he was to have received the severance pay if involuntarily terminated by Dec. 31, 2010.

The suit also seeks additional payments from unused vacation time, cost-of-living adjustment pay, partial fourth-quarter bonus, unreimbursed business and moving expenses, and other costs totaling $89,261.

And it seeks penalties under the Kansas Wage Payment Act regarding unpaid severance payments and wages.

Firestone's lawyer, Eric Metz with Triplett, Woolf & Garretson in Wichita, declined to comment. Hawker Beechcraft said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Firestone resigned his position as director and CEO of Hong Kong-based Asia Jet Partners last year to accept the position with Hawker Beechcraft.

Asia Jet filed an affidavit against Firestone alleging he violated a noncompete agreement he'd signed with Asia Jet when he took the job with Hawker Beechcraft.

According to the affidavit, during his employment with Asia Jet, Firestone couldn't "carry on, set up, be employed, engaged, or interested in a business anywhere in Hong Kong or elsewhere in Asia which is or is about to be in competition with the business of the company."

Firestone and Asia Jet reached a confidential settlement on the matter in December 2009.

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