Former friend warns Palmer he could sue

FORMER Coolum Resort manager Bill Schoch, who is suing his former boss and friend Clive Palmer over a work contract, told Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday that Mr Palmer had initially offered to pay him $5 million over five years.

Mr Schoch is suing Mr Palmer for $4.6 million for allegedly misleading him into signing a "sham" working contract.

In a civil case that began yesterday, Mr Schoch told the court Mr Palmer had offered him a position as chief financial officer for China First, a subsidiary of Mr Palmer's company Mineralogy.

He said Mr Palmer had phoned him in 2011 and offered him $5 million over five years, or $1 million a year.

Mr Palmer had said the starting salary would be $100,000 and that the rest of the money would come in later, Mr Schoch said.

But when he was given his new work contract documents, nothing noted the $5 million figure, Mr Schoch said.

He also said the manager still had to complete a part of the form.

Mr Schoch said he had noted on the document, and initialled it, that his salary was to be $100,000 base plus bonus as agreed.

"I put that there deliberately … so I could keep it confidentially but also have a record," he said.

Mr Schoch said he had taken the documents to HR and pointed out what he had done.

"But they laughed at it," he said. "I didn't care whether they laughed or not because it was a deal I had with Clive who I had known for 40 years and that was it.

"Clive hired me and it had down at the bottom of the form 'manager to complete' and my manager is Clive …"

Mr Schoch also said he had signed a confidentiality agreement.


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