Papa “John” Schnatter will not take his ousting from his own company without a fight. Today the disgraced pizza hawker filed a complaint to see the Papa John’s books and records, so he could determine what led up to his resignation as chairman.
CNBC published the nine-page document here. Schnatter—who prompted the Great Papa Purge when he dropped the N-word on a conference call with a PR firm—sent an apology to Forbes that included the sentence, “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true.” In his filed complaint, however, he may be walking that back. The company Papa John’s is accused of treating its spokesperson in an “unexplained and heavy-handed way.” The complaint also criticizes “false and mistaken reporting” and says Forbes’s report was incorrect, even though Schnatter had previously confirmed his comments were true.
The purpose of Schnatter’s complaint, beyond the airing of grievances, is to look at the company documents to see if any board members “breached their fiduciary duties.” He wants to be able to prove that anyone rushed to judgment too quickly. He more dramatically alludes that someone “planned this coup in advance” without his knowledge—a hypothetical betrayal by a greasy, sinister culprit.
Hell hath no fury like a Papa scorned. It seems unlikely that his legal attack will be limited to just the pizza company. After all, the University of Louisville took so much away from him.