UC Regent Norman Pattiz has been accused of allegedly brandishing a loaded firearm at a former employee who objected to using false advertising statistics, according to a lawsuit filed Friday against Pattiz in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
In addition to being a UC regent, Pattiz is a reserve officer in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the founder of podcast network PodcastOne. According to the lawsuit complaint, Pattiz allegedly directed his gun at plaintiff Raymond Hernandez, a former employee of PodcastOne, when he did not comply with a request to fabricate data.
Pattiz denied the allegations against him in an emailed statement.
“I didn’t and would never act in the manner that’s been described. … His allegations are absurd,” Pattiz said in the statement.
The lawsuit also alleged that Pattiz wrongfully terminated Hernandez and intentionally interfered with Hernandez’s future employment.
Hernandez, a producer, worked for PodcastOne from 2014 to 2016, the complaint stated. Hernandez’s responsibilities included producing, editing and uploading many different podcasts for PodcastOne. Part of his job was also to collect and provide statistical data for advertisers, according to the complaint.
Hernandez alleged that he was wrongfully terminated by Pattiz because of his personal objections to fabricating data.
In fall 2016, Pattiz became involved in a sexual misconduct scandal when his former colleague Heather McDonald, comedian and host of the podcast “Juicy Scoop,” released a recording of Pattiz asking to hold her breasts. “Juicy Scoop” was, at the time, represented by PodcastOne. Pattiz publicly apologized for his comments shortly after.
Hernandez alleged in his lawsuit that Pattiz “sought to have (Hernandez) terminated” by his new employer because of Hernandez’s involvement in McDonald’s acquisition of the recording, which was made in Pattiz’s PodcastOne studio.
“The brass at PodcastOne continued to hunt down Raymond and saying that they should replace Raymond and that they would compensate them for it,” alleged Robert Reichman, Hernandez’s attorney.
But Pattiz’s legal team has denied all allegations of Pattiz’s involvement in Hernandez’s relationship with his future employers.
“Mr. Hernandez was fired for stealing intellectual property from PodcastOne,” alleged Marvin Putnam, Pattiz’s attorney. “We have no idea why he was fired from his latest employer.”
McDonald alleged that she and Hernandez would review the recordings every week following her show, adding that the recordings were allegedly her property.
According to Reichman, a claim is allegedly being filed against Hernandez by PodcastOne for theft of intellectual property. Reichman alleged that this claim is one of several ways in which Pattiz has bullied Hernandez following his termination.
“As far as we’re concerned, this outrageous bullying and hunting of Raymond Hernandez cannot stand,” Reichman alleged.