BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : JULY 5, 1999 ISSUE
PEOPLE

A Troubled Inquiry


APR. 6 '98
Compuware CEO Pete Karmanos learns that Sheila McKinnon, the company's senior vice-president for human resources, is alleging that he sexually harassed her. Karmanos denies the allegations. With his approval, Compuware hires lawyer Anthony J. Rusciano to investigate.

APR. 10
Rusciano learns that McKinnon believes her claims will be supported by Troy Strong, Karmanos' former administrative assistant. Strong has also alleged harassment by Karmanos.

APR. 16
Strong alleges that Denise Knobblock, an executive vice-president, advises her to stay out of the McKinnon matter. In a deposition, Knob- block doesn't recall this.

APR. 29
Acting on behalf of Rusciano, Knobblock attempts to question Strong about her harassment allegations. Strong refuses to answer, saying she wants a lawyer first. Rusciano, in his report, says Knobblock told him that Strong does not want to get involved.

MAY 1
Karmanos calls Strong to his office. Strong alleges that he tried to influence her testimony. Karmanos denies that, saying he was just trying to find out ''what was going on.'' Upset, Strong returns to her cubicle; she alleges that Karmanos then called her and put Rusciano on the line. That day, Strong contacts an attorney.

MAY 2 AND 3
Rusciano calls Strong at home three times over the weekend but doesn't leave a return number. Home for one call, Strong, who has not yet met with her attorney, does not answer.

MAY 4
Knobblock tells Strong her testimony is no longer needed. Rusciano closes his probe without interviewing her.

MAY 20
Karmanos tells the board of McKinnon's allegations. General Counsel Costello presents to the board Rusciano's report. It concludes that ''no independent support for McKinnon's claims'' can be found after interviewing 26 people, including Strong. The report says Strong denied any harassment. The board agrees McKinnon's employment should be terminated.

MAY 22
McKinnon is fired. Four days later, she files suit against Karmanos and the company alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. Rusciano's firm is soon hired to defend the company.

JULY 10
Rusciano interviews Strong for the first time.

AUG. 10
Strong leaves Compuware.

AUG. 19
Compuware again asks Rusciano to perform an independent investigation, this time into Strong's allegations.

SEPT. 14
Strong files suit against Compuware, charging the atmosphere made it impossible for her to keep working there.

SEPT. 18
Rusciano reports to the board that he ''finds no evidence'' to independently back Strong's claims.

MAR. 26, '99
McKinnon's suit is settled out of court.


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PHOTO: Peter Karmanos Jr. (center) with Compuware Co-Founders in 1973

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