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Dario Navarro

S.K. Grand Sathorn Apartments, Apt. 310, 203 Soi Sribumphen
Toongmahamek, Sathorn, Bangkok, Thailand 10120
Mobile: +66-(0)9-1998-0502

E-Mail: navdar@gmail.com

Via Email: 31 October 2014

Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble
President
Webster University
470 East Lockwood Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63119
USA

Dr. Julian Z. Schuster

Mrs. Nisha Ray Chaudhuri
Academic Director
Webster University Thailand Campus
Empire Tower, 4th Floor, Retail Wing
195 South Sathorn Rd., Yannawa
Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
Thailand

Mr. Roy R. Avecilla

Re:

Provost, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Grant Chapman

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director
of International Programs

Webster University
St. Louis, MO 63119 USA
Assistant Professor and Interim Head

School of Business and Technology
Webster University Thailand Campus
Empire Tower, 4th Floor, Retail Wing
195 South Sathorn Rd., Yannawa
Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand

Illegal Coercive Withholding of Salary and Improper, Misleading, Ex Parte Contact by
WUT Attorney, Thanawat Songwathana, Esq. of the AIL Co., Ltd. Law Firm

To Drs. Stroble, Schuster, Chapman, Mrs. Chaudhuri and Mr. Avecilla:
I am writing to you to report two more improper incidents in the handling of my claims by WUT
administrators and WUT’s legal counsel:
(1) the illegal withholding of my salary from WUT as means of coercing a settlement and
(2)

improper, misleading, ex parte contact by WUT’s attorney, who failed to clearly
identify himself as WUT’s attorney, even after it was apparent that I was under the
impression that he was an attorney employed at my attorney’s law office.

1. Illegal Coercive Withholding of Salary Due 31 October 2014. Earlier today I learned that WUT
administrators have made yet another in a long series of illegal, retaliatory and coercive decisions by
instructing the WUT attorney to inform me that my salary at WUT for October 2014 would be withheld
until I submitted my grades and agreed to WUT settlement terms. The withholding of my salary is an
illegal coercive attempt to obtain my consent to a settlement offer violates Section 70 of the Thai
Labor Protection Act of 1998. The illegal coercive withholding of my salary is just the latest
demonstration of the lack of good faith and abusive misconduct of WUT officials.
Please let me be clear: I have every intention of submitting my students’ midterm grades to WUT
as soon as possible after I finish grading them. I have already emailed many of my students a copy of
their corrected midterm examination answers with my extensive comments and grade. With each
corrected midterm examination answer I have explained to each student the weight attached to the
midterm in determining their final grade in the course as previously discussed in class. I am trying to
wind up my affairs at WUT with as little inconvenience to the students as humanly possible and my first
concern is their education and fair treatment. I have been delayed in completing my work on correcting
exams because I was compelled to research and prepare detailed replies to the fabricated, retaliatory
administrative sanction WUT administrators inflicted on me on 16 October 2014. I have already

Drs. Stroble, Schuster, Chapman, Mrs. Chaudhuri and Mr. Avecilla
Webster University Thailand
31 October 2014
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informed both WUT and my students that there would be a “slight delay” in submitting grades as a
result of the necessity to respond to WUT’s harassment and retaliatory actions.
Given that it is I who have been victimized by the repeated misrepresentations, misconduct and
negligence of WUT administrators in the face of my good faith efforts to discharge my teaching
responsibilities to the best of my ability, I find it the height of irony, if not duplicity, that WUT now
coercively and illegally withholds my salary in an attempt to compel me to agree with their settlement
terms and submit my grades. (The grades would have been submitted in any case.) While WUT
administrators break Thai law and act in bad faith by such withholding, they simultaneously ask me to
show my good faith and trust them to do as they promise, despite their track record of nonperformance
and abuse. Their actions would be comical if they did not have such pernicious consequences.
2. Improper, Misleading Ex Parte Contact by WUT Attorney.
About two hours ago I was
contacted by an attorney who misleadingly gave me the impression that he was employed by my
attorney’s law office and said he was calling to “help me” and would obtain for me the “exact amount”
of the settlement funds I have requested. To the best of my recollection, knowledge and belief, at no
time at the beginning of our conversation did he expressly identify himself as the attorney employed by
Webster University (Thailand) (WUT), but repeatedly spoke as if he were calling to assist me and obtain
the funds requested on my behalf. In a subsequent conversation, after I asked the attorney to identify
himself, I learned that his name was “Mr. Thanawat” of the “AIL law firm.” After an online search, I
later discovered that his full name is Thanawat Songwathana, Esq., a partner at the AIL Co., Ltd. law
firm in Bangkok.
As I recall, he began the conversation stating that he had received a call from WUT in the morning and
that he was calling to “help” me settle my claims against WUT and said he would “get” me “the funds” I
had requested. I then made some comment about how relieved I was to hear from another lawyer at my
attorney’s office to which he made no reply and continued in his presentation. At some point early in
the conversation, I asked him about my bill and how much my representation would cost. (I was
concerned now that my law firm had apparently engaged a second attorney on my case.) He said I did
not have to pay him anything, which struck me as exceedingly odd, but it was at that point I realized that
something was amiss and, at that same point, Mr. Thanawat should have realized, after my question
about paying him, that I was under the impression that he was an attorney calling from the law firm I
had engaged. He continued the conversation without clearly revealing he was representing WUT until I
asked him explicitly at the end of our first conversation.
During the course of this conversation, I revealed sensitive, compromising personal information about
my current situation and future litigation plans against WUT and WUSL, my plans to retain legal
counsel in St. Louis, my legal views in this case, the identity of confidential associates and colleagues,
and some of the evidence that had been given to me about the apparently illegal and improper
misconduct of WUT administrators. In other words, Mr. Thanawat was able to obtain vitally important
confidential attorney-client privileged information from me when he knew or should have known that I
was laboring under the misimpression that he was actually an attorney from the law firm I had engaged.
Whether Mr. Thanawat did this knowingly or negligently I cannot say, but I do adamantly believe that
he did not properly identify himself as WUT’s attorney at the outset of the conversation and did not

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Webster University Thailand
31 October 2014
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reveal his representation of WUT even after he knew or should have known I was speaking to him under
the false impression that he was my attorney, not WUT’s attorney, especially at the point I asked him
the question about my bill.
Also, even after I told Mr. Thanawat I was represented by legal counsel and wanted to consult with my
attorney before agreeing to any settlement, Mr. Thanawat persisted in trying to get me to agree verbally
to some ambiguously worded settlement arrangement that I was then to trust him to embody in an email
that he was going to send to me which would state, according to him, that I had agreed to the terms in
the email, even before I had a chance to review such written terms. I did not agree to this arrangement.
I asked that he communicate directly with my legal counsel and that I would not agree to any final
arrangement concerning my payment until I had an opportunity to speak with my Thai attorney.
I ended the conversation by telling Mr. Thanawat that if WUT wanted me to show “good faith,” which I
have always done in this dispute in any event, he might encourage WUT to show “good faith” by
complying with Thai labor law and cease the illegal, coercive withholding of my salary. Given this
latest illegal, coercive tactic by WUT administrators, I am not inclined to trust them or believe any
promises they might make, either through their attorney or otherwise.
Mr. Thanawat called me back after our first conversation. In our second conversation, I asked him to
tell me his name and the name of his law firm, which he did. I told him that I did not believe he had
fully and fairly disclosed his status as attorney to WUT during our first conversation. He falsely
claimed that he told me he was representing WUT when he called me. I do not recall him doing so. He
apparently just assumed I should know that he was calling on behalf of WUT. Clearly, construing this
misunderstanding in a light most favorable to Mr. Thanawat, there was an initial misunderstanding
between us about who he represented, but there can be no doubt whatsoever that my comments in the
course of the conversation should have revealed to him, objectively speaking, that I was laboring under
the false impression that he was an attorney from the law firm I had engaged. He knew or should have
known this no later than my question about paying him for his services, yet he said nothing at that point
to clarify that he was representing Webster University (Thailand) and not me.
3. Please Direct Your Subordinates to Pay Illegally Withheld Salary Immediately. In light of the
foregoing and my promise to submit my grades in all my classes as soon as they are completed, I would
like to request that you please direct your subordinates in Thailand to pay me the ฿ 146,100 due
immediately.
4. Attorney-to-Attorney Communications. In addition, please direct WUT administrators to
request that the WUT attorney, Thanawat Songwathana, Esq., immediately cease and desist all
direct contact with me as I am a represented party and direct any communications he might have
in the future to my attorney of record, the formal retention of whom I informed you yesterday:
Sirichayaporn Makeaw, Esq.
Director and Attorney at Law
S.M. Legal Services Co., Ltd.
8/62 Village No. 7, Soi Saiyuan, Rawai Subdistrict
Maung District, Phuket Province 83130
Thailand

Drs. Stroble, Schuster, Chapman, Mrs. Chaudhuri and Mr. Avecilla
Webster University Thailand
31 October 2014
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Telephone: +66 (0) 76 226 467
Email: sm.legalconsultant@gmail.com
5. Contacting U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. As a result of WUT misconduct, the coercive, illegal
withholding of my salary, the history of death threats made by WUT administrators against
complainants and improper attorney contact, I now feel that my personal safety and security in Thailand
is being seriously threatened and intend to immediately contact the American Embassy in Bangkok to
request any diplomatic assistance it can provide. At the very least, I will fully inform the American
Embassy of WUT’s abusive misconduct in this case in an effort to protect other American citizens from
being duped and abused by WUT administrators.
Thank you for your attention. I will submit my grades as soon as possible. I look forward to the
immediate payment in full of the amount owed.
Sincerely,

Dario Navarro
cc: Craig Mundle, craigmundle85@webster.edu
Webster University Campus Review Team, campusreview@webster.edu;
Dr. Ratish Thakur, thakurr@webster.ac.th