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Monday September 01, 2014
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Tom and Russ

 

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"The more he talked, the more startling I found his plan," Monaghan recalled in our interview. "It was extremely detailed. He'd obviously spent a lot of time on it." At last, he saw Hughes' game. "I had given this man everything he'd asked for to help him do his job. But he hasn't been working for me at all. He's been working strictly for himself!"

Monaghan was furious but didn't let on. "This guy was insane," he remembered thinking, and suddenly odd things about Hughes began to appear both ridiculous and slightly sinister. "He had a toupee [but] never admitted it. I don't know why I was so naive. I didn't think anyone would wear a toupee. Early on, he showed me a picture in his wallet, and I saw his driver's license, and it was a bald man. When we'd go into restaurants, he'd keep his raincoat on for some reason. And he'd always watch where he's sitting so no one could get behind him."

When the meeting ended late that night, Monaghan was noncommittal. "My anger had been replaced by a sense of relief," he wrote later. "I couldn't wait to start analyzing the situation and laying plans. I spent the entire weekend with my legal pads, outlining the various options I had and how I might deal with them. When I finished late Sunday night, I had my whole plan worked out. The first step would be to call Russ Hughes into my office the next morning and ask him to resign."

It was Hughes' turn to be stunned. "I remember Russ was sitting there, and he said 'I don't understand. All I know is people,'" Monaghan recalled. Maybe so, but this time, Hughes had badly misjudged his man.

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