Armstrong Calls Brad Ballweber

November 12, 2010

Ballweber has been a board member since January of 2007 and was chairman of the audit committee from late 2007 through January 2010.  Ballweber said he voted for Halvorson to be the interim CEO because he thought he had a good knowledge of the inner workings of WSI, was a good thinker, and had a grasp of details and facts. 

He said Jim Long did contact him after Halvorson was appointed interim CEO and he could recall Long's biggest concern was over Sandy Blunt's health.  He said that Long contacted him because Long felt he was approachable and willing to listen and also that Ballweber knows Long's mother and stepfather. 

He did recall Long describing Halvorson as a pudgy little norwegian and thought that not very professional.  He said there was a second meeting with Long.  Bakke asked whether Long had reported any illegal conduct or violations of the law or suspected violations by Halvorson or Blunt.  Ballweber said he did not believe so. 

Ballweber said he had heard a rumor of an inappropriate relationship between Long and Peltz but was not interested in addressing it.

After Long was put on paid administrative leave, Terry Curl asked him to contact Long but he decided he would not. 

Regarding internal audit manager Kay Grinsteinner's complaint that WSI was denying claims and hoping workers would not appeal, he was surprised that Kay had sent that to the state auditor from her home email.  He said the procedure should have been to take it to the audit chair and that she had no involvement with claims. 

He also referred to a letter Kay had sent to the board saying that matters of significance were not discussed at WSI board meetings and that the board was not receiving critical information as a whole.  He did not agree with that assessment.  He did agree later that Kay be terminated after the Connolly report came out.

Tuntland cross-examines Ballweber.

He established that Grinsteinner had sent board members a list of key questions and concerns and so did bring her concerns to the board.  Tuntland noted the last paragraph which said, please take the information in the spirit it was intended.  He asked Ballweber if there was anything wrong with bringing those concerns to the board.  Ballweber replied if she had the facts to back them up it was fine, but if it was just her opinion it was not.  

Tuntland established that she went through several years of board minutes to gain assurance that the meeting minutes accurately reflected discussions that took place at WSI. 

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