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“Our company is doing a great job,” Tate Publishing executive disputes slew of lawsuits, investigations

OKLAHOMA - Richard Tate was frustrated when we tried to ask to ask him about three new lawsuits filed against his company just this month.

“Those three individuals, they violated that contract,” Tate said.

There’s actually only one individual – a musician who’s suing over copyright laws.

The other lawsuits were filed by Jostens, claiming Tate owes them more than $13,000 for merchandise, and a property company that leases Tate’s print shop to them.

Court documents show Tate owes nearly $20,000 in rent.

“There are a lot of issues that probably would be a little more important for you or your news agency or any news agency to deal with other than the fact that our company is doing a great job,” Tate said.

The Xerox lawsuit is still the biggest Tate is facing.

Xerox took back its equipment after it said Tate owed $1.7 million for leasing industrial printers and equipment.

“We’re fine with Xerox. We’re right where we want to be there,” Tate said.

However, Tate owes more than $1 million to Xerox.

“That’s something we'll deal with in court, that we dispute, but I'm not going to let you turn my conference room into a courtroom,” Tate said.

Tate blames the downtown in the economy for the slew of layoffs this past year, and he denied any wrongdoing as the Department of Labor investigates whether he owes employees overtime pay.

“I'm pleased with what we're doing. I hate it about the economy. I hate it about employees that because we've had to make some good decisions. I hate that very much,” Tate said.

The Department of Labor has sent letters to employees encouraging them to get an attorney if they feel back wages are due.

Xerox is asking a judge to award them the money they said Tate owes them.

A hearing is scheduled for January.