Anger greets defamation decision

Reaction to Domainz CEO Patrick O'Brien's decision to continue with his defamation case about Alan Brown has been swift and damning.

Reaction to Domainz CEO Patrick O’Brien’s decision to continue with his defamation case about Alan Brown has been swift and damning.

“[O’Brien] should be keeping his head down, surely. He is simply asking for it to be knocked off,” writes one Isocnz member on the newsgroup.

Brown, the man who allegedly defamed O’Brien, is calling for an emergency meeting of Isocnz council to consider suspending O’Brien and the board of Domainz while the issue is sorted out. As Computerworld goes to press, the council is scheduled to meet on July 7.

O’Brien told Computerworld he expects Domainz to continue to pay for his defamation suit against Brown, an ISP director.

“The company is committed to go through with the process that’s currently underway,” says O’Brien.

The Isocnz AGM voted no confidence in the board of Domainz, and also voted for an independent review of Domainz’s performance during the implementation of the new domain name system. The suit was also raised, and the motion that the AGM “deplores the defamation action” was carried without opposition.

“The action arose in the line of my duties as chief executive and as such the board was very supportive and continues to be supportive.”

The board consists of former Isocnz chair Jim Higgins, current chair Peter Dengate Thrush and James Scott, chair of the board at consultancy firm Innovus along with a lawyer and an accountant.

Newly elected councillor Stephen Judd suggests there may be contractual reasons for the seeming support of the Domainz board that are as yet not in the public domain. “I expect we will find out shortly,” he writes.

O’Brien will not be drawn on what the Isocnz elections will mean for either Domainz or himself.

“It’s business as usual. There might be some changes taking place at the shareholder level and time will tell what those changes mean and what impact if any they have on Domainz.”

One of the problems Isocnz has had with Domainz in the past has been a lack of communication about business matters, says former councillor David Farrar.

“We don’t even know when [O’Brien’s] contract runs out. We believe it’s December 31.”

O’Brien would not answer questions about his contract. “I’m not going to comment on my own contract or any staff members’ contracts. That’s totally inappropriate to do such a thing.”

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