ST. LOUIS - By Thursday afternoon, we may know the outcome of the high profile sex discrimination case pitting Francine Katz against Anheuser-Busch.

So often it comes down to closing arguments and who jurors relate to more. Will they believe Francine Katz was more than a public relations executive who was paid less than her male peers because of her sex? Or, will they side with the defense's case that Katz was compensated fairly and her rate of pay had nothing to do with her gender but her job.

One of the final witnesses for the defense was former Anheuser-Busch President Dave Peacock who created the severance pay tier system after the InBev buyout. Peacock testified that the tiers had nothing to do with gender but was based on a person's market rate. This was a process InBev used and wanted applied in St. Louis, a human resources executive with InBev, testified via a videotaped deposition.

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In cross examination, Katz's attorney, Mary Anne Sedey, showed that the companies CEO could do whatever he wanted when it came to compensation and even tiers. Sedey asked Peacock to explain how three of August Busch IV's friends were designated tier two when they weren't officers and did not qualify.

Sedey: "You looked at this list and you knew they didn't belong there but the CEO, you understood said, put them on and you did, right?"

Peacock: "If I recall, I couldn't reach him and they went on."

Sedey: "If August Busch IV had the discretion to put these three gentlemen on this plan, he could have put Francine Katz and Marlene Coulis in tier one if he wanted too, couldn't he?"

Peacock: "I suppose."

The powerful strategy committee had two tiers. The men were tier one and their severance package included two times their pay and 24 months of benefits. The women were tier two and give 1 ¾ pay and 21 months of benefits. Peacock testified tier one was based on a market rate above $350,000 while tier two was based on a market rate above $310,000.

Jury instructions will take about 45 minutes with closing arguments scheduled to wrap up before 1 p.m. Jurors will then begin sifting through two and a half weeks of evidence and testimony. In civil trials only nine of twelve jurors are needed to reach a verdict.


Here is the pay rate for members of the strategy committee:

Randolph Baker $2,712,153
Stephen Burrows $1,874,600
Joseph Castellano $1,451625
John Farrell $1,417,500
Michael Harding $1,375,938
Keith Kasen $1,692,600
John Kelly $1,645,001
Robert Lachky $1,443,203
Douglas Muhlman $2,407,920
Michael Owens $2,103,300
David Peacock $1,037,430
Anthony Ponturo $1,321,488
Gary Rutledge $1,932,300
Thomas Santel $1,669,028

Francine Katz $1,010,291
Marlene Coulis $859,600

Here is a breakdown of bonuses given to members of the strategy committee after the InBev buyout:

August Busch IV $9,159,379
W. Randolph Baker $2, 381, 438
Douglas Muhleman $1,996,744
Dave Peacock $1,831,875
Michael Owens $1,740,282
John Kelly $1,447,182
Keith Kasen $1,282,313
Thomas Santel $1,282,313
Joseph Castellano $1,099,125
John T. Farrell$1,099,125
Robert Lachky $1,062,488
Michael Harding $1,025,850
Anthony Ponturo $970,894
Stephen Burrows $915,938
John Serbia $860,981

Francine Katz $824,344
Marlene Coulis $732,750

Look for trial updates on NewsChannel 5 and by following@leisazigman and #ksdkabtrial.


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