The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Joplin Metro

December 24, 2007

SiriCOMM files for bankruptcy

By Melissa Dunson

SiriCOMM has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and a board member says the company’s future is in question.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, SiriCOMM’s board members signed the paperwork agreeing to file for bankruptcy on Dec. 10, and they had 30 days to act on it. The bankruptcy petition was submitted Friday.

William Tylle, SiriCOMM’s former network operations manager, alleged Monday that SiriCOMM continued to call employees to show up and work even after agreeing initially to file for bankruptcy.

“That’s pretty crappy,” he said.

Tylle, who said he and others are owed hundreds and even thousands of dollars in back pay, said he was officially laid off Friday, even though he claims he hasn’t been paid for nearly a month. Some workers were laid off in November, but Tylle and others were kept on board and kept working.

Bankruptcy paperwork was signed by board members Dick Landis, Mark Grannell, Steve Fox and Terry Thompson. Board member Bill Moore did not sign the paperwork. The documents indicate that Moore was not present for the meeting. Fox, Thompson and Moore did not return phone calls Monday.

Grannell also is president and chief executive officer. He said Monday that he would not comment until after the holidays.

Landis, of Litchfield Park, Ariz., said SiriCOMM officials are looking at all possible options for keeping the company open, but he said it is too early to tell if that will be possible.

Tylle said he returned Friday to the company’s corporate office at 4710 E. 32nd St. in Joplin to hand over his company equipment, and watched as computers and phones were removed from the building.

“They mentioned we were having money problems earlier this year, but they said they were securing investors,” Tylle said. “When they laid off people Nov. 10, they told us they were doing it so they could pay the rest of us through the end of the year. I never figured they wouldn’t pay us.”

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