A famous Nahcotta, Wash., resident, FRITZI COHEN, 75, owner of the MOBY DICK HOTEL there, has been making news in the other Washington recently.

She is also the co-owner of the revered family- and employee-owned TABARD INN in D.C., where the upheaval she’s created on the board of the iconic inn even caught the attention of the Washington Post (http://tinyurl.com/tabardpost).

The story reads like a family feud potboiler. Fritzi ousted her son, JEREMIAH COHEN, as general manager of the successful Tabard (after 18 years on the job), because he allegedly “mishandled” the hotel’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which he denies.

Fritzi also claimed Jeremiah owed $1 million in unpaid overtime to hotel employees. He says it’s more like $6,000 a year. Another reason for his dismissal was for “possession of a weapon on the property” – a pellet gun to shoot rats.

Jeremiah’s other two siblings had already been voted off the board by the majority of Tabard Corp. shareholders (read: Fritzi.)

Fritzi then installed her Nahcotta companion, KEVIN STAVRUM, 56, on the Tabard board, and since then most of the other Tabard big-wigs have gotten the ax or resigned.

Incidentally, Stavrum was found to have outstanding felony warrants against him in Minnesota after being investigated by Jeremiah, who now thinks bringing these little faux pas to his mother’s attention contributed to his ouster.

“I essentially crossed the second love of my mother’s life,” Jeremiah said, “and I’m paying the price for it.”

Those close to the tempest in the board room and the remaining employees apparently worry that the matriarch’s decisions about the Tabard are being influenced not only by Stavrum, but by JACK VEALE, a consultant she hired last year.

Nevertheless, Fritzi is totally unrepentant about ousting her family from the Tabard. “The fact is, I am the person where the buck stops on this business. I am the president, and I am the CEO,” she said. “I am learning what business is all about, and they should have understood that.”

— Elleda Wilson


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