#ncga: House majority whip getting HIS day in (federal) court?

It appears a dispute involving his private business is catapulting Rep. Dean Arp into the ucomfortable confines of US District Court: 

[…] This action arises from the Defendants’ unlawful conduct in obtaining copies of computer files containing detailed engineering drawings and plans developed by Hunter Structural. Defendants then sold those drawings to their own clients. Based on this conduct, Hunter Structural asserts claims for copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, conversion, computer trespass, unjust enrichment, and unfair and deceptive trade practices.

[…]  Defendant Szabo is a former employee of Hunter Structural. While employed by Hunter Structural, Szabo was a draftsman that assisted with the preparation of engineering drawings. Hunter Structural stores its computer files on Carbonite, a “cloud-based” system that remotely stores all of Hunter Structural’s computer files. While he was employed by Hunter Structural, Defendant Szabo was one of the few employees that was issued a password and able to access the files stored on the Carbonite system. Defendant Szabo also had daily access to Hunter Structural’s office computer network.Dean Arp Engineering Complaint

 Defendant Szabo’s employment with Hunter Structural was terminated in December, 2014 as a result of insufficient performance. Almost immediately thereafter, Szabo began working for Arp Engineering. Upon information and belief, Defendant Szabo had been in communications with Arp Engineering regarding potential employment with Arp Engineering prior to the termination of his employment with Hunter Structural.

.Arp Engineering is a structural engineering firm that is a competitor of Hunter Structural.  Shortly after Szabo left his job with Hunter Structural, a client of Hunter Structural contacted Hunter Structural to inquire about the status of a pending project that Defendant Szabo had been working on before he left Hunter Structural. When Hunter Structural went to review the computer files related to the project, it discovered that all of the computer files for that project were missing.

As soon as Hunter Structural learned that some of its computer files were missing, Gene Hunter, the principal owner of Hunter Structural, contacted Mr. Dean Arp, the principal owner of Arp Engineering. Mr. Hunter informed Mr. Arp of his concern that Defendant Szabo may have downloaded computer files belonging to Hunter Structural and that Defendant Szabo might be using drawings belonging to Hunter Structural in connection with his employment with Arp Engineering.

In response to this concern, Mr. Arp promised Mr. Hunter that no drawings prepared by Hunter Structural would ever be used by Arp Engineering and that none of Hunter Structural’s computer files would ever be saved on Arp Engineering’s computer network server.Unfortunately, in late 2016, Hunter Structural learned that despite the prior assurances from Mr. Arp, Arp Engineering had, in fact, used at least one set of engineering drawings originally prepared, and owned by, Hunter Structural.  Hunter Structural became aware of this fact when it received a phone call from an inspector in the Virginia Beach area of Virginia. The inspector called Hunter Structural because he had questions regarding the drawings for a new Take 5/5 Minute Oil Change facility that was under construction (the “Virginia Take 5 Facility”).

 Hunter Structural had previously prepared drawings for several Take 5 facilities in Virginia, and the inspector called Hunter Structural because the drawings for the new facility were so similar to previous Hunter Structural drawings that the inspector assumed that the drawings for the new facility had also been submitted by Hunter Structural.However, once Hunter Structural learned the address of the new Take 5 facility, it realized that the facility was not one of its current projects. The inspector was asked to send Hunter Structural the drawings for the new facility, and the inspector sent Hunter Structural a copy of the drawings for the Virginia Take 5 Facility. When it received a copy of the drawings, Hunter Structural discovered that the drawings had been submitted by Arp Engineering. […]

 Defendant Szabo assisted with the preparation of drawings for the Charlotte Take 5 Facility while employed by Hunter Structural. Upon information and belief, Defendant Szabo prepared the drawings for the Virginia Take 5 Facility for Arp Engineering.Arp Engineering and Szabo would not have been able to produce exact duplicates of the Hunter Take 5 Drawings without access to the computer files on which the Hunter Take 5 Drawings were stored.

Upon information and belief, the computer files related to the Hunter Take 5 Drawings were not the only computer files owned by Hunter Structural that were copied and used by Defendant Szabo while employed by Arp Engineering. . Hunter Structural has requested that Arp Engineering return and/or destroy any computer files wrongfully obtained by Defendant Szabo and to identify all projects on which Defendant Szabo worked while employed by Arp Engineering.Arp Engineering has refused to provide the information requested.[…] .

(As far as we know, no court date has been set.)  The complaint states that the plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages against Arp Engineering and its new employee.