Former Alex and Ani exec files wrongful termination lawsuit

Robert Rainville, a former corporate executive with Alex and Ani has filed a lawsuit against the Rhode Island-based jewelry company, alleging{}breach of contract and wrongful termination for his firing in November.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court on Wednesday in Providence.

In the lawsuit, Rainville claims Alex and Ani has failed to pay him $1 million in compensation for his role in connection with the company receiving $75 million in financing in 2012 from the private equity firm JH Partners in San Francisco.

Rainville also alleges he was promised additional compensation, 2 percent of corporate stock set aside for company executives.

Rainville attached an exhibit to the lawsuit, which appeared to be an email from Alex and Ani CEO Giovanni Feroce to several of those executives, including Rainville. In the email, Feroce allegedly wrote, "The JH deal has closed!{}As a result, you all just became shareholders in AA. Congratulations, if you don't bust my balls you will all{}be wealthy someday soon"

In the pages of the lawsuit, Rainville said he had requested his bonus and stock options on several occasions since September 2012, but never received them.

The lawsuit claims in February that Feroce transferred Rainville's position from Alex and Ani's General Counsel to Senior Vice President of University Relations.

And on Nov. 25, Rainville claims he was fired without notice and without cause. Rainville's lawsuit said Feroce, "acted in a deceitful and fraudulent manner with regard to the payment of the transaction bonus and the issuance of corporate stock."

Rainville alleges that prior to his firing he "raised concerns and voiced his opposition" with Feroce and company founder Carolyn Rafaelian over him "performing personal legal work" for corporate offices and directors Feroce and Rafaelian, unrelated to Alex and Ani business.

Rainville also alleges the existence of a "hostile work environment," including the Feroce's violation of the company's sexual harassment and substance abuse polices.

Feroce called the lawsuit "ridiculous." He said he couldn't comment on why Rainville was fired but wished him the best and said, "at the end of the day people know me and people know him."

Attempts to reach Rainville were unsuccessful.

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