The chairman of film and bag maker BPI Packaging Technologies Inc. has resigned, following a plummet in company sales and his failure to pay back a $36,000 company loan.
A July 7 company news release did not say why Dennis N. Caulfield resigned as chairman and chief executive officer of the North Dighton, Mass., firm. Caulfield had held the top two jobs since 1990.
Caulfield resigned July 1, one day after he was due to pay back the loan, said John Piccione, legal counsel for BPI and a lawyer with Sullivan and Worcester of Boston. The loan was to cover back taxes Caulfield owed to the state of Massachusetts, Piccione said.
The Massachusetts Department of Revenue told BPI in March it wanted to garnish about $200,000 of Caulfield's wages, according to documents BPI filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
A Revenue Department spokesman said wages are garnished for failure to pay taxes or child support.
BPI paid $36,000 of that for Caulfield, and established an interest-bearing note to be paid back by June 30, the documents said. Caulfield did not pay back the money, Piccione said.
Caulfield also owed the company $586,978 from other loans made since 1990, SEC filings indicate. Piccione said they were travel advances and other business expenses ``for which we were waiting for documentation from him to verify whether they were appropriate business expenses.''
He declined to elaborate.
``We are in somewhat delicate discussions with him on resolving some of the open issues,'' Piccione said.
A spokesman for the North Dighton police department said officers were called to BPI June 30 by company officials who said Caulfield was trespassing. Officers arrested Caulfield on an outstanding warrant, said Lt. Michael Rose.
A records clerk with the Bristol County, Mass., court said the warrant was from the state police, and was for driving a car with a suspended or revoked license and not having a car inspection sticker.
Piccione declined to comment on why the BPI Packaging called police.
The news release also said BPI no longer is funding two subsidiaries, RC America Inc. or Market Media Inc.
RC America's CEO is Caulfield's brother Ronald. RC America buys and sells surplus consumer goods and Market Media handles in-store advertising.
Dennis Caulfield could not be reached for comment. BPI executives and several outside directors of the company did not return telephone calls.
BPI is in the midst of a difficult transition from its traditional T-shirt bag lines to proprietary bag and plastic film products and a newer venture that will sell advertising on floor tiles at grocery stores and other public places. This year, students at about 150 public schools will tread on the tiles, and Coca-Cola Co. may test them in France.
For the 12 months ended Feb. 28, 1997, BPI reported sales of $30.8 million. It then changed its fiscal year-end to Dec. 30 and reported sales of just $13.9 million for the remaining 10 months of 1997, as the company exited its traditional bag business. It has lost more than $29 million since 1995 because of competition, the company said in a May 27 SEC filing.
Another May SEC document said the company defaulted on all of its capital and operating leases in December and a bank was demanding repayment by June 30 of short-term borrowings with a balance of $438,640. Its auditors, Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP, resigned July 6.
But BPI said recent developments may help. In March it secured a five-year deal with an undisclosed company to supply as much as $25 million of its new proprietary plastic film to overwrap paper towels and bathroom tissue.
Also, the company said it signed a February contract with a top U.S. grocery chain to supply in-store advertising on produce-bag dispensers. That deal could be worth $7.5 million, according to company documents.