CityGuru founder, Drew Morrison has finally surfaced from reclusion, ending weeks of speculation from shareholders left in the dark. In a surprise move, he granted a televised interview to KOMO 4 News, Seattle, finally revealing what shareholders suspected all along: CityGuru, Inc. is floating belly up.
The interview provided little information regarding what happens next with investor funds. In the wake of KOMO 4 News previous story revealing complaints of charity fraud and mis-management against the CityGuru founder, Drew Morrison side-stepped pointed questions with nebulous even nonsensical answers. Following two hours of interviewing, reporter Jon Humbert would note the session ended leaving more questions than answers.
For us who have reviewed the video repeatedly–we, too, are left with more questions. Basically, what is Drew Morrsion really saying in the Komo 4 News interview?
In the spirit of the upcoming Election Year, we decided to use the same method as does the Political Media following debates between presidential candidates. Following the debates, commentators eagerly dissect, interpret and explain what each of the candidates are “really” saying based upon their backgrounds and track records. This practice is necessary as politicians have fine tuned their ability to “double-speak”–often requiring translators to not only explain what they are saying–but what they are not saying.
What a perfect time to introduce our own “translator” of what Drew Morrison was saying–and not saying–in the Komo 4 News interview!
We needed someone who is unabiased in all-matters-Drew-Morrison. He/she could not know or be acquainted with Drew Morrison, nor have ever given him money. Above all, our translator would have to be navigate through the slipperiest of sales rhetoric. Enter Roche DeLarke.
O.K. so Roche claims to be a political media analyst and neurolinguist. Nice. But what really caught our attention was his own self proclamation: “I am a member of the 10% of the general population with a built-in Bull Shit Detector in my brain”. He was perfect for this job!
Boasting of having a brain with a “Built-in BullShit Detector” Neurolinguist and Political Media Analyst, Roche DeLarkey offers his take on Drew Morrison’s Interview on a KOMO 4 NEWS Investigative Story
We briefed Roche with Drew Morrison’s background history and track record, (sans editorial comment, of course). We then directed him online to the KOMO 4 NEWS interview video–and asked him to simply tell us what he thought Drew Morrison was saying.
On the KOMO 4 News website summary text accompanies the video clip. Using that text below, we have bolded the font for Drew Morrison quotes and comments included there. In between Morrison quotes and comments, we have embedded Roche’s “translation” of what he thinks Drew Morrison was saying in interview.
Judge for yourself; determine your own translation. Better yet–please send us YOUR translation of Drew Morrison’s answers in the KOMO 4 News story! How well can you see through “double-speak”?
The KOMO 4 NEWS story begins…
Morrison is a contradiction, as a charming man with unshakeable problems.
“I’m not a quitter and I am obscenely stubborn,” he said.
ANALYST: “Drew Morrison seems to be be saying he plans to continue on “with business as usual”. Mix in the stubbornness factor and my guess is that he doesn’t plan on changing how he does business, either. It’s a kind of “fly in your face” type statement probably because he is annoyed that you are trying to hold him accountable for something.
His choice of words to describe his obstinacy is revealing. It expresses anger but is also a warning that he may be willing to defy logic and common sense, carrying a lost cause to the point of lunacy–kind of like: cutting off your nose to spite your face” (***)
In September, the KOMO Investigators revealed Morrison’s issues with his event company CityGuru.com and his failed payment to the Pink Gene breast cancer foundation.
Morrison gave them zero dollars despite promising the “proceeds of all sales” to go to charity according to postings for the event—a showing of the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight in May.
“I don’t remember one where it said all proceeds. And if it did, as I said, that’s a mistake then,” Morrison said during an interview.
ANALYST: “A short memory is particularly useful if you just got caught with your hand in the cookie jar. First, you don’t have to address it if you can’t remember it. Second, you can always hope ignorance will spare the consequences of your actions.
More importantly, here, is Drew Morrison seems to be dismissing the Pink Gene Foundation–and their claim. It’s almost as if he is casually suggesting it is they who got it all wrong; they misunderstood. So…it’s no big deal, right? Let’s drop it. Next..!
I might add: I feel confident Drew Morrison has no intentions of paying these people.”
Morrison bristled at the suggestion partygoers were duped and said expenses had to be paid before charities.
He had promised at least $1,500 by the end of July but as of late November, he still had not given Pink Gene anything.
“I mean, you know things definitely did change from then,” Morrison said.
ANALYST: “His logic is hard to follow, but it seems Drew Morrison is suggesting that the passage of time has also changed the nature of his obligation to these people. Somehow, that obligation went away after so much time and is no longer important. Also, the fact that things changed–and perhaps not in his favor–that somehow makes it no longer his problem. .
Later in the interview he gives a hint of his rather sophomoric attitude towards his responsibilities and obligations when he mutters “it’s not my fault”–before correcting himself. Perhaps Drew Morrison believes it’s really not his fault for what happens to others who trust and depend on him simply because things didn’t work out for him the way he wanted. My adolescent daughter often sees her world the same way.”
He said CityGuru wasn’t able to stay afloat and shut down. A number of investors bought shares in the now-defunct company. Morrison couldn’t explain what happens next and if they’ll be paid back.
ANALYST: “I think we can all interpret this for ourselves—the CityGuru Shareholders are S.O.L.”
The state Department of Financial Institutions, which looks into securities fraud, recently launched an investigation into CityGuru.
Morrison had no knowledge of the investigation but did address the problems with his previous company Path Investments.
ANALYST: “Notice the quickness in which Drew Morrison diverts the subject from the current investigation to that of a previous business failure. Diversion always works well when you feel a very pointed and direct question is coming.
Also notice his cool demeanor when asked about the investigation. Most people would be visually shaken if informed they were under investigation by a government agency; particularly if they have no concept of how or why such an investigation could even be remotely possible! His reaction along with how quickly he reverted to the diversion tactic set the alarm off for me. Was it stubbornness to prevent anyone to see the discomfort it causes him? It really doesn’t matter whether or not he knew about the investigation, does it?”
“It was just one of those, it was a company that kind of went somewhere that just didn’t,” Morrison said.
ANALYST: “Well, that’s about as nebulous of an answer as you can expect! It seems as if Drew Morrison probably regards this company as one of little significance that he could shrug it off as: “Here today; gone tomorrow!” That is O.K., I suppose–until you consider the hundreds of thousands of dollars of other people’s money that were here today; gone tomorrow.
What’s noteworthy here is Drew Morrison’s casual dismissal of the company and its investors as insignificant could have been a ploy to ward off more pointed questions he sensed would follow. It was like a subliminal suggestion that the company was so insignificant it wasn’t worth talking about any longer.”
The Arizona-based foreclosure business went belly up too.
Investor Gary Woolever won a lawsuit earlier this year alleging Morrison spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself instead of the business.
Records from the lawsuit expose wild charges by Morrison, who admitted he was the only one with access to Path’s business accounts.
“Can we track what pennies are whose, and what it went to? No we can’t,” Morrison said.
ANALYST: “Once again: notice Drew Morrison’s choice of wording. Referring to his investors’ funds as “pennies” softens the fact that they were hundreds of thousands of investor dollars. Also by referring to the funds as “pennies”, it helps to make the funds seem more trivial—and in a convoluted way: not worth the time and expense of accounting and bookkeeping.
Again, he seems on guard that another pointed question is to follow if he doesn’t defuse the topic immediately.
Notice he also chooses the word “we” over “I” when he says he can’t account for his investors’ funds. Is he subtly hinting others were to blame? Sounds like another subliminal voice of “it’s not my fault” may be whispering here. “Others” would be a great way to deflect the attention being directed at him.”
At heart of the suit were promissory notes Morrison signed but never paid, calling the deal more personal than paperwork.
ANALYST: “Huh? I’m going out on a limb on this one. Defaulting on a promissory note is pretty black and white, it seems to me. Either you paid it back or you didn’t; and it is about the “paperwork”.
Since Drew Morrison style of business seems to hold little regard for financial records and accounting, perhaps he feels the same about the contracts he signs. They are just “paperwork”. As such, these things can usually be resolved easily enough between parties.
I sense that perhaps Drew Morrison is the one who took it personally that these investors would hold him accountable for the “paperwork” even to the point of suing him over default. If so, this may have angered him and is resulting in the “obscene stubborness” he speaks of–a rather crude tactic to punish them. If so, then it is very likely Drew Morrison feels he has done nothing wrong (“not my fault”) and it is, indeed, very “personal” to him.
Records show that there were multiple contempt orders for Morrison’s refusal to hand over records.
He didn’t even show up for a number of hearings.
“I didn’t get my day in court. And I believe I lost on some technicalities you know, because I’m not an attorney,” he said. “There’s truth and there’s process. Maybe you’re a very black and white person, fine,” Morrison said.
ANALYST: “Drew Morrison didn’t get his “day in court” because he never bothered to show up to Court hearings, abide by Court rulings and failed to follow the legal due process. What I sense, though, is Drew Morrison may actually be subliminally “hinting” at a “technicality” that the due process of law was not followed in his case–and therefore perhaps a means to beat the system at its own game.
Ironically, he seems to be showing contempt for that same due process when he says: “There’s truth and there’s process.” After all, it was our legal process that slapped him, and he hints that only he knows the “truth”.”
Morrison lost another lawsuit by default in Arizona in June. He didn’t show in court again when a different Path investor accused him of pocketing a $55,000 loan.
All told, Morrison owes more than $1.4 million in court judgments and fees.
The state Department of Financial Institutions couldn’t reveal much about its current investigation, but Morrison was clear: Despite the court’s ruling he doesn’t believe he owes Woolever a cent.
ANALYST: “Again, he is expressing contempt for the Court by expressing defiance towards it orders to pay the Plaintiffs. While he has singled out one investor, Drew Morrison probably believes he does not owe anyone–including other investors–“a cent”–to hell with what the Court says.
This might double as defiance toward even the government who is investigating his business activities as a show of “obscene stubbornness” to resist one and all at all costs”.
(***) Editorial Comment: You can only imagine our surprise at the translation of Drew’s self-proclaimed “obscene stubbornness”—it is eerily reminiscent of our recent post about Drew Morrison’s propensity for self-inflicted wounds!