Connecticut AG Office Asked To Investigate CONNSTEP For Alleged Business Defamation
A Connecticut small business owner is requesting Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen to investigate the alleged business defamatory and anti-competitive practices of CONNSTEP, a federal-funded business management consultancy firm in Rocky Hill.
Hartford, CT (USA), January 26th, 2017 -- Daryl Guberman, CEO of G-PMC Group, LLC and former bodybuilding champion (Mr. Connecticut), filed a complaint with the Attorney General office alleging CONNSTEP employees knowingly and willingly engaged in business defamation and anti-competitive practices targeting Guberman's company and its accreditation body, the American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC).
The complaint cites one or more employees of CONNSTEP in the position of 'Business Growth Advisors' have sent a number of malicious emails to one or more customers of G-PMC Group consisting of false statements about ISO certificates issued by Guberman's company by deliberately claiming the documents lacked accreditation.
According to the complaint, the misleading statements made by CONNSTEP employees was purposely and strategically executed as part of a smear campaign that singled out Guberman in retaliation of complaints he previously submitted to CONNSTEP leadership and state officials regarding a third party accreditation scheme promoted by the organization. The complaint cites CONNSTEP's actions was intended to hurt the reputation of G-PMC Group by making the company appear to its customers to be an invalid issuer of ISO 9001 certification.
According to Guberman, CONNSTEP leadership was informed of a similar incident before the Attorney General was asked to investigate. Guberman said he notified Bonnie Del Conte, the CEO of CONNSTEP multiple times, including once by certified mail about the matter, and has yet to receive a response from the organization.
A copy of Guberman's original complaint delivered by registered mail to Ms. Del Conte can be found at: http://dguberman.com/CONNSTEP_Letter.pdf
According to Mr. Guberman after no response from Ms. DelConte, he mailed a second letter by certified mail to Ms. DelConte, which also went unanswered. A copy of the second letter can be found at http://dguberman.com/CONNSTEP_Complaint_2.pdf
Being ISO 9001 Certified means an organization has met the requirements in ISO 9001. It defines an ISO 9000 Quality Management System (QMS). ISO 9001:2015 is focused on meeting customer expectations and delivering customer satisfaction so businesses must pay attention to their customers. G-PMC Group has issued hundreds of accredited ISO certifications to businesses nationwide, including sub-contractors of Lockheed Martin, the largest government contractor in the United States.
Records show G-PMC Group is incorporated in the state of Delaware and accredited by the American Board of Accredited Certifications (ABAC). Therefore, malicious claims, directly or indirectly of G-PMC Group lacking accreditation may hold a person or organization libel for business defamation. Under U.S. law, it is illegal to make false, derogatory statement(s) in private or public about a person's business practices, character, financial status, morals, or reputation. Oral defamation is a slander whereas printed or published defamation is a libel.
As a federally funded organization, the Attorney General of Connecticut is being asked by Guberman and Donald LaBelle, the Chairman of ABAC to look into the possible malfeasance and mishandling of the $7.4 million recently awarded to CONNSTEP in a cooperative agreement from the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The complaint addresses concerns of CONNSTEP allegedly using tax payer money to compensate staff engaging in business defamatory practices while promoting an anti-competitive accreditation scheme in collusion with ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB® ).
Guberman said ANAB® leadership accepts and recognizes his accreditation body (ABAC™) and therefore, CONNSTEP should apologize for making misleading statements about certifications issued by G-PMC Group, LLC. The Vice President of ANAB® Randy Dougherty stated in a recent email to Guberman, “We recognize and accept that there are conformity assessment bodies and accreditation bodies, such as your body and your AB.”
"It's important for Connecticut manufacturers to understand they have the option to use the certification body of their choice for ISO registration, whether it's accredited or not accredited," said Guberman. He added, "The International Organization for Standardization, the developer of all ISO standards, clearly states that accreditation is not compulsory, and non-accreditation does not necessarily mean it is not reputable, all it does is provide independent confirmation of competence." He added, “Any organization believed to be maliciously making false statements about accreditation in the ISO certification marketplace to unjustly gain market dominance should be investigated by the state's Attorney General and the Federal Government for violating U.S. antitrust laws.”
"It's fundamentally flawed and a disgrace to small businesses nationwide if a federally-funded consultancy firm affiliated with the state of Connecticut is allowed to utilize tax dollars to unfairly and unethically dominate a marketplace by harming the reputation and financial stability of its competitors, particularly small businesses such as Guberman's company" says LaBelle.
Guberman and LaBelle has consulted with a Westport Attorney, widely considered the state's leading expert in business defamation and anti-competitive laws for possible compensatory and economic damages for lost compensation, emotional and physical distress and damage to their reputation.