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Slanted Fedora In Trouble

Once again, controversy follows the convention company

Just months after actor Patrick Stewart (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) railed against organizers of the Slanted Fedora convention company, it appears that the company is facing some new trouble: this time in the state of Kansas.

Last month, District Court Judge William O. Isenhour Jr. of Johnson County rendered a default judgment against Slanted Fedora head David Scott and his company for apparently not responding to a suit filed Feb. 11 that was issued for violations of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

As a result of the judgment, Scott and Slanted Fedora are prohibited from the sale or advertisement of “any merchandise or services within the state of Kansas … until (he) satisfies the court that he has obeyed the subpoena.”

The order only identifies Kansas statute 50-623, which promotes the protection of consumers from suppliers who commit deceptive and unconscionable practices, protects consumers from unbargained for warranty disclaimers, and provides consumers with a three-day cancellation period for door-to-door sales. It is not clear exactly what the attorney general’s office is filing its complaint about. Details have been requested from both the Kansas attorney general’s office and Scott by Airlock Alpha.

The order could create some problems for Slanted Fedora, who is based in Shawnee, Kansas. However, their next convention in Kansas isn’t planned until April 2003 in Kansas City, according to the convention’s official Web site.

There is no word if Slanted Fedora has since complied with the subpoena, or the current status of the legal action being taken against the company.

Stewart’s complaint against Slanted Fedora was first reported by Airlock Alpha on Jan. 30 regarding an appearance he had to cancel at Slanted Fedora Jan. 5 while “Star Trek: Nemesis” was in the middle of principle photography.

“It is my custom to keep my affairs as private as possible, but so much disquieting information has been reaching me about my recent non-appearance at the Slanted Fedora Convention … that I feel it important to put the record straight so far as the facts are concerned,” Stewart said in a letter to fans at the time the story originally broke. “Sometime in 2001, I was approached by David Scott to appear at the above-mentioned convention. I gave only my provisional acceptance, subject to my availability.

“Time passed and with so much going on in 2001, I forgot about my provisional commitment, but when I made it I assumed that as with every other such engagement, the organizers would reconfirm my commitment nearer the time. This never happened.”

When Stewart informed Scott he could not attend the convention a month before, Scott apparently claimed that he had a signed contract for Stewart to appear and to sign autographs — the latter which he hadn’t done in 10 years.

Stewart said that he still wanted to make sure that fans who were attending the convention would not feel too upset over his inability to attend, so on Dec. 10, he signed a contract with Slanted Fedora to send 1,200 autographed photos to be given to convention attendees that could be given as part of the convention ticket package. The photographs, he said, came late (by Jan. 4) because he refused to sign the photos until he received payment.

“I should have insisted that I waited until the check was cleared because when my bank submitted it, it bounced,” Stewart said. “As of the 23rd of January, I have still not been paid for the photographs.”

At the time of the story, Scott did not return repeated requests for comment by Airlock Alpha.

In a related story, James Darren (Vic Fontaine, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”) released a statement via his official Web site that reports by Slanted Fedora that the actor canceled his appearances at Fedora conventions in Boston and Chicago earlier this month were untrue.

Darren “was looking forward to being at both conventions,” according to the statement. “Mr. Darren’s appearances were in fact canceled by Dave Scott of Slanted Fedora Entertainment.”

A source said that they were not sure if Darren is remaining on the schedule for the Slanted Fedora convention in Las Vegas coming up later this year. An official posting on an America Online message board folder dedicated to Slanted Fedora did not list Darren among its guests for the Las Vegas convention.

Thanks to “Pam” and Ian Cullen for the tip.

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