DONALD CRAIG MULLIS / Denies using stapler; Ex-workers accuse car dealer of on-the-job attacks, inj

Star-News (Wilmington, NC) – January 17, 1998 Author: CORY REISS,
Staff writer

Four men say in separate lawsuits that their boss, the owner of
Donald Craig Motor Co., repeatedly beat them up, ordered fellow
employees to hit them and punched them in the groin.

Two of the former employees also allege that Donald Craig Mullis
used a stapler on them, in one case stapling Michael O’Quinn’s
right pants leg to his right leg.

Mr. Mullis denied the incidents with the staplers ever happened. He
said the other incidents detailed in the complaints filed in New
Hanover County Superior Court were just ”horseplay” that was
common on the car dealership’s lot.

Only one of the men filed criminal charges.

The former employees, Mr. O’Quinn, a service technician; Herman
Richardson, a lot attendant; Rudolph Taylor, an inventory control
manager; and Wayne Champion, a salesman; are disgruntled, Mr.
Mullis said.

None of them works at Donald Craig Motor Co. anymore, he said.

Mr. O’Quinn and Mr. Champion had been fired within the last 90
days, he said, and Mr. Taylor had been demoted with a pay cut
before leaving.

Mr. Richardson didn’t come back to work after a ”pure
accident” in which Mr. Mullis hit him in the groin, the
dealership owner said. Mr. Mullis said he was really trying to
”pat” Mr. Richardson on the belly. Mr. Mullis said he
apologized.

Mr. Richardson filed a criminal complaint, according to court
records. Mr. Mullis faces a simple assault charge later this month
stemming from the incident Dec. 11.

The lawsuit Mr. Richardson filed says the incident resulted in
blood in his urine and a prostate infection.

The four men cited 16 incidents in which they claimed they were
hit, kicked or stapled.

Mr. Champion complains he was the target of 12 of them on four
different dates in 1997, including claims Mr. Mullis and another
employee assaulted him ”by grabbing at (his) groin with a pair
of pliers” while other employees held him; that other employees
were ordered to hit him for poor sales performance, and that on one
occasion Mr. Mullis stapled him in the right hand.

But Mr. Mullis said the four plaintiffs engaged in the same
horseplay that resulted in the allegations against him. He said
that just before the December incident, Mr. Richardson ”was out
there slap-fighting with another lot boy” and accidentally cut
him with his fingernail.

The four men worked there from one to three years, said Mr. Mullis,
and, ”If somebody was beating on those people, they wouldn’t
work here so long.” He also said that the horseplay during work
has ”all been cut off” because of the problems it has caused.
.

Though the horseplay may have resulted in injuries and lawsuits,
Mr. Mullis said it was all in good fun.

”We’re all real close over here,” he said. Section:
Local/Regional Online: Local/State

Page: 1B, 4B

Record Number: 114643E6C431C69A

Copyright 1998, 2006, Wilmington Star-News

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