Glock is calling for the dismissal of a civil racketeering complaint brought against them by an attorney formerly employed to help ferret out crime in the organization.
Glock’s 99-page response calls for the dismissal on the grounds that the plaintiff has not proven probable cause didn’t exist for his arrest, or that the charges were brought against him maliciously.
Additionally, Glock claims the complaint “misapprehends the grand jury system,” because grand jury testimony is “absolutely immune from civil liability.”
According to the response, grand jury testimony is required by law to be secret, and therefore the plaintiff — Jeffrey Pombert – is unable to have a civil court “investigate the workings of the grand jury that indicted him.”
Pombert, an Atlanta attorney, filed the complaint in March alleging company owner Gaston Glock Sr., Glock’s attorneys and Cobb County, Georgia, law enforcement officials helped bring about phony racketeering charges against Pombert and his associates. Those charges were dismissed in 2013 following a Georgia Supreme Court ruling regarding the statute of limitations on a similar crime.
Pombert was part of a team hired by Glock Sr., to investigate criminal wrongdoing within the gun-maker following an assassination attempt in 1999. His complaint accuses Glock, three attorneys and a subsidiary company of civil rights violations, malicious prosecution and multiple counts of civil racketeering.
According to the complaint, Harper’s Investigations ceased looking into criminal activity when James Harper, the lead investigator, discovered Mr. Glock intended to continue for his own benefit some of the criminal schemes uncovered by the investigation.
However, Glock’s response points out that while the complaint alleges Harper’s was still owed money for services rendered, there was no indication Pombert was owed anything.
According to the response, while Pombert’s complaint also alleges that Glock sought to implicate and falsely accuse Harper of overbilling, there’s no allegation that Pombert was a target, or that any of Glock’s attorneys “held any personal malice or ill will toward” him.
And while Pombert contends that Cobb County law enforcement officials failed in their duty to screen criminal complaints and protect citizens against “vindictive prosecutions,” Glock argues that there are no alleged facts to suggest this conduct in the complaint.
The international gunsmith’s response also argues that because the charges against Pombert were dismissed on a legal technicality – rather than from exoneration – he cannot “plead the required elements of malicious prosecution” under state or federal law.
Pointing to the grand jury’s indictment of Pombert for “stealing funds” from his interest on lawyer trust account to buy a new house, Glock contends that Pombert is unable to claim malicious prosecution as he failed to show the grand jury didn’t have probable cause to indict him on at least one felony charge.
Under Georgia state law, a probable cause finding on a single charge of an indictment “bars the plaintiff’s malicious prosecution action” on the other charges, according to Glock’s response.
Similarly, the response argues that because Pombert cannot plead facts to show “malicious prosecution” under state law, he is barred from making a claim under federal law. And because he was not improperly indicted, Glock argues that Pombert has no valid claim of a violation of his civil rights.
The response also argues Pombert failed to offer any facts to support allegations that the company conspired with public officials to target the plaintiff under state law, or that law enforcement members didn’t or wouldn’t have acted of their own accord in executing state law.
Finally, Glock argues that Pombert’s claim is not only “barred by the applicable statute of limitations,” but also barred by federal and state court precendents with regard to converting “malicious prosecution allegations” to crimes necessary to support a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claim.
Georgia state law imposes a five-year statute of limitations on all civil RICO claims, beginning from discovery of the wrongdoing, not the final act.
Additionally, Pombert’s complaint fails to meet the requirements of Georgia RICO law because it doesn’t allege that any of the specific defendants tampered with specific witnesses or evidence.
Glock’s has also requested attorney John Renzulli be dismissed from the case because the complaint fails to allege that Pombert was a target of Renzulli, or that Renzulli acted outside of his role as a representative of Glock or with “individual malice” towards Pombert.
Pombert’s response to Glock’s dismissal motion is due to be filed July 21.