CHICAGO: A Hill & Knowlton SAE has been suspended without pay after being arrested in New York for allegedly selling fraudulent fundraising tickets that he said would help families of September 11 victims.Brian Gill, 26, was suspended on March 22 upon returning to H&K's Chicago office.
In a statement issued that day, Gene Reineke, H&K COO, said, "We learned of this issue this morning. We do not have specific knowledge surrounding the facts and circumstances as they pertain to this matter. If someone did engage in this behavior, it is deplorable and shocking."
Reineke added, "Based on these reports, we are placing Mr. Gill on immediate suspension without pay pending further developments."
The reports he referred to included stories in the New York Post and the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Sun-Times reported that Gill was charged with misdemeanor fraud after trying to sell his tickets on March 16 in a New York Irish bar. Gill gave out bumper stickers reading: "Osama, Miss my Irish Ass
for the tickets.
He claimed to be raising funds for the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
New York police discovered that Gill was not affiliated with the firefighters' group, and arrested him on March 20. He's scheduled to appear in court in New York on May 2, the Sun-Times reported.
Gill has worked in H&K's corporate practice area in Chicago since September 2000. Reineke was unavailable for further comment, and the agency could not say if an attorney is representing Gill at this point.