Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ashley Madison customers revealed: Protective Life VP Paul Wells appears on list and went through a divorce that might be tied to notorious Web site

Protective building in Birmingham
(From cargocollective.com
One of the youngest vice presidents in the history of Protective Life is among paying customers at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affair Web site, records show.

Public records also show that Paul Wells went through a divorce in 2015. Did Amy Scotch Wells seek divorce because of her husband's activities on Ashley Madison? The answer to that is not clear, but Mr. Wells clearly is going through a period of upheaval.

Paul Wells has been vice president and division chief financial officer at Protective since 2007, when he was 33 years old. Here is how Jones described his career path in a 2013 interview with Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ):

After finishing graduate school, I worked in the audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers for five years. Spent four years in the finance department of Compass Bank and at Protective Life Corp. now for 6 years.

What does Wells find appealing about his profession?

I like being able to leverage my technical financial skills while also being involved in the various aspects of running our Life and Annuity business. Continually being exposed to dynamics outside my technical expertise keeps things interesting.

Amy Scotch Wells
(From facebook.com)
Wells has two children, Cody and Hayley, and images from his family life can be found at his ex-wife's Facebook page. (Amy Scotch Wells is a graduate of Briarwood Christian School and Samford University, and her family has helped develop a number of neighborhoods in north Shelby County.)

Did Ashley Madison provide the tools to tear apart the Wells family? We sought comment from Paul Wells for this post, but he has not responded.


(1) Edgar C. Gentle III -- attorney at Gentle Turner Sexton and Harbison, Birmingham, AL (3/8/16)

(2) Stewart Springer -- attorney, solo practice in Birmingham, AL. (3/9/16)

(3) Richard W. "Dick" Bell -- attorney, solo practice in Birmingham, AL (3/14/16)

(4) Robert M.N. Palmer -- attorney and bar association president in Springfield, MO (3/15/16)

(5) Thomas Plouff -- attorney, who is licensed in Alabama and has a practice in Chicago (3/17/16)

(9) Randy Bates -- executive VP and member of board of directors, Golden Flake (10/5/16)

(10) Reid Carpenter -- attorney, Lightfoot Franklin White, Birmingham (10/6/16)

(11) Scott Sink -- exec. VP, McGriff Seibels Williams, Birmingham (10/11/16)

(12) Russell Byrne -- VP for information systems, Bromberg's, Birmingham (10/17/16)

(13) Rob Waudby -- district manager, Skyline Steel, Birmingham (10/24/16)


Anonymous said...

Is this the first case where involvement Ashley Madison seems to be connected to a divorce?

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, it's the first one I've reported so far, although I should emphasize that the AM involvement and the divorce appear to have happened in the same general time frame. Not sure that one caused, or contributed to, the other.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wells seems to consider himself a "savant" with numbers, but I'm betting Amy S took him to the car wash in divorce.

legalschnauzer said...

Would be interesting to know if Ms. Scotch Wells knew about her ex's dabbles with Ashley Madison. If not, she should know now, and perhaps could use that information to get a modification that might make more dollars fly out of Mr. Wells' billfold.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of these dudes have screwed around on Ashley Madison while at work, supposedly on company time.

legalschnauzer said...

Darned good question, @3:19. Seems to me a smart company would take steps to make sure that does not happen.

Anonymous said...

Most companies do take steps. But even the military realized what a cluster this was and didn't punish anyone for AM involvement...even if found that they used work computers. Again,..much ado about nothing.

legalschnauzer said...

If companies care enough to take steps to prevent Ashley Madison activity at work, then it's not much ado about nothing. It's something they are concerned about. Your own words show you have reached the wrong conclusion.

Anonymous said...

Wrong. It has nothing to do with AM. They don't want anyone going to any site that could compromise the network...as in viruses. It could be JC Penney as well as AM. Any site that sets the filters off gets blocked. You don't know how corporate network security works. Oh...and I'm sure the inevitable "well you don't identify yourself so...blah blah blah". Just ask any reader here is they've ever been blocked accessing a site at work. You will find I am right.

But...the truth remains...no military person was penalized as a result of the AM scandal, even if they used work computers to access (which should tell you why any rouge country can hack the dept of defense...they couldn't get prevent their people from using a site that could have contained malicious computer bugs).

legalschnauzer said...

Oh, so you are changing your tune now that you've been caught admitting it is important. We were talking about AM, and you admitted it was a concern for corporations. When caught, you change your tune to viruses. Sorry, but you stepped into your own dishonest trap.

BTW, whether people are penalized at work has nothing to do with my reporting anyway. It's an ancillary issue that a reader mentioned, and I think it's an interesting subject.

As for you, I don't know who you are and I don't care, so I don't give a flip whether you are right or not. My reporting is about the AM story, not corporate responses to computer viruses, etc. You should be smart enough to know that the AM concern isn't just about computer viruses, but also about how corporate execs spend their "work time," for which customers and investors pay.

You apparently aren't smart enough to grasp that, so your comments don't carry much weight here.

Anonymous said...

What is the point of naming the wife and kids?

In several comments on this blog you make Herculean efforts to suggest you aren't "accusing anyone of adulterous behavior" and suggest that the reader can "draw their own conclusions." Why then are the children's names any different?

A simple google/facebook search could provide the presence of children along with names----if someone wanted to do that "investigative" exercise. Why tie the children's names to a google search associated with this scandal? (Are you at all aware of the skyrocketing adolescent suicide tied to cyber-bullying?) Is there a reason for that? A real "investigative journalism" reason? Or are you just a modern-day Ann Putnam couching yourself as a modern-day Upton Sinclair?

Why not let the reader draw their own conclusions about the wife/children the same way you suggest they can about any possible nefarious activities?

I'm sure we'll get the rote "if they don't want to be shamed or have people speculating don't attach oneself to a site like this" but please, draw this distinction for us.

legalschnauzer said...

I don't know how many times I have to explain this, but the fact the AM customer has a spouse and children is relevant. They are victims of his thoughtless behavior.

Your second paragraph is bizarre. It doesn't take a Herculean effort to suggest I'm not "accusing anyone of adulterous behavior." It's a matter of fact that my posts say so-and-so is a paying customer of Ashley Madison, a web site designed to promote/facilitate extramarital affairs. That's what they say because that's what I know as fact. As for your "draw their own conclusions" assertions, that's true of every post I've ever written.

Are you suggesting I'm responsible for stopping, or causing, whatever adolescent suicide issue you claim is tied to cyber-bullying. I would say that issue needs to be addressed by the parents and cyber bullies, and I'm neither one.

I give kids credit for being smarter and tougher than many people seem to think. I doubt my reporting causes any storms for kids, but if it does, I'm confident they can weather it.

After all, why would someone bully a child over something he/she had nothing to do with? If our schools really are that vicious, it's certainly not a problem I can cure. Parents and teachers need to get it under control and quit trying to blame bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Sure; the presence of children is relevant. Agreed.

Yes; they are "victims." Agreed.

Why name the "victims?" How does that add to your "investigative journalism?" What information does the reader have now that simply "children" would not have covered (presuming you are only interested in "relevant" pieces to the story)?

Yes yes; we know you've discussed this ad nauseum but please specifically address why actually providing children's names is helpful. Can you do that without logical fallacies to deflect?

No one suggested bloggers were solely to blame for suicide but your cavalier attitude towards cyberbullying is interesting.....I might even suggest "relevant" to the question as to why you do this.

A former child

legalschnauzer said...

I have a degree in journalism and more than 35 years of professional experience in the field. I know how the craft is practiced. You might disagree with this, or find it callous, but a reporter's job is to seek relevant facts and present them in a way readers can understand. It's not our job to spare feelings or delete facts because someone might find them objectionable. I equate it to a basketball coach who expects his guys to be "complete players," to take on some of the game's less pleasant tasks (screening, defending, diving for loose balls), not just the pleasant stuff (dunking, shooting threes, etc.) Editors expect the same thing, and self-respecting reporters expect the same thing from themselves. In this instance, Mr. and Mrs. Wells have two children -- and they aren't nameless. They have names, they are real people. In my view, I would not be doing my job if I did not report the presence of children and provide their names. Journalism, real reporting, is built on all sorts of details -- names, ages, addresses, occupations . . . the list goes on. Gathering those details and presenting them in an understandable way is at the heart of the profession. In my view, giving the kids' names shows respect for them as humans and shows respect for my duty as a journalist.

Your characterization of my attitude toward cyberbullying as "cavalier" is not supported by what I said. I simply said that particular problem is outside the scope of my experience and needs to be addressed by those who are close to it -- parents of bullied kids and parents of bullying kids, along with perhaps teachers, clergy etc. It's not cavalier to say, "This problem is outside my realm of experience, and I don't know enough about it to make things better." I flatly reject any notion that my blog has anything to do with cyberbullying.

Anonymous said...

Why not name victims of rape? Wouldn't that show them respect?

Anonymous said...

Let's begin with the fact that it is none of the public's business if errant behavior led to a divorce. This is not news or journalism under any definition other than that represented by Access Hollywood or the National Enquirer. So congratulations at being named among those paragons of journalism. Beyond that, I agree with the previous commenter that naming children is irresponsible and unethical. The children were innocent bystanders and their names are irrelevant. These 'facts' are not pertinent to your story. You would serve yourself and the cause of journalism better if you were to remove their names.

Anonymous said...

LS, i like your reporting but 8:29 has a point. If you are claiming that the kids are victims, then i personally do not believe they should be named. Perhaps, stating "X has a 12-YO son, and 14 YO daughter would do better". It would also not be searchable online in the future. That's the same reason that victims of sexual assault and child abuse arent named, although they are central "facts" in the case. I have six kids (Irish Catholic) and i can tell you that the bullying that goes on now, especially with online access is horrible. Kids have it a lot tougher than ppl from our generation did.

That being said i like your blog - not trying to argue, just add my 2-cents for discussion purposes.

legalschnauzer said...

8:42 -- Everything you state is wrong and contrary to journalism principles. You are, however, consistent, so congrats on that.

legalschnauzer said...

@8:27 -- I assume you are smart enough to see the difference between the two types of cases. Someone who has been raped is the victim of a crime. The children of an AM user have not been victims of crime, far from it. In fact, we don't know they've even read my post or heard about it. I've used the term "victim" to describe the harm their father's thoughtless acts might have caused them. But it's a very different type of victim from what you find in a rape case.

Heck, for all I know, the kids might be better off and happier in a single-parent home. Perhaps the father was the source of upheaval that the kids are better off without. I'm making assumptions by attaching the word "victim" to them, but it might not be a fit.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned "respecting" them as humans.

Which is more respectful?

a) Name them and tie their names to a google search

b) Not name them

legalschnauzer said...

If you are asking me, I've already made my position clear. It's (a).

Anonymous said...

wow. stunning lack of empathy and social awareness. But you get credit for being honest.

One more question and then I'll leave you alone:

If an 11 year-old girl contacted you saying she would prefer to be "respected" by option (b) would you ignore her request or leave her name attached to the story?

legalschnauzer said...

@11:26 -- your question makes no sense. How is an 11-year-old girl, or anyone else, going to know in advance that I'm about to write a story re: a certain subject that involves them? I can't answer a question that makes no sense to me.

Your comment about "lack of empathy and social awareness" also makes no sense. The issue in your question was about which shows more "respect," to use someone's actual name or cover up the fact that they have a name. That has nothing to do with lack of empathy or social awareness. You now seem to be claiming the imaginary story involves something negative happening to them, but you didn't say that in your question.

You seem to be a bit confused, and your thinking is jumbled. Why don't you climb off your moral high horse and come live down here with the rest of us for a while?

Anonymous said...

Wow. No picture of the guy, but instead you post a picture of his wife and a link to her Facebook account. As a divorcee and now a single mom, I would feel doubly violated if I were in her shoes. I know you believe you are doing nothing wrong by her. But that is exactly the point - and exactly the problem. Its the same type of mentality that drives Trump to do what he did. You talk constantly about how the elitist men think they are above the fray and really think only of themselves. Unfortunately, you are failing to see that is the same attitude you take by hiding behind your claim of "journalism". I hope you take the time to reflect and consider things from the women's perspective a bit more than just falling back on "I'm a journalist. Blame their husband, not me".

Anonymous said...

Oh, for God's sake, @6:13. Yours is one of the most absurd comments in the history of this blog. I run a picture of a woman that she already has put out there, and you compare that to Donald Trump's mentality? I'll just be blunt and say you are full of feces, overflowing. For the record, I ran a picture of her because I found a picture of her. I found a picture of him, but it's a goofy thing from Bham Business Journal, he's hardly recognizable in some costume, and I thought it would serve to confuse the situation.

As for your other ramblings, I'm not even going to respond to such garbage. Your life must be going pretty good if this is all you've got to complain about. Sheesh!

Are you a school marm for a living? Or maybe the Church Lady? You sound like both, only worse.

Anonymous said...

Why you jump straight to name-calling and belittling, I don't know. Trump would never do that. :) I'm not trying to attack you. I was just pointing out a woman's perspective which you are failing to appreciate. But I'm curious. So you say her husband, who she has already divorced, had some credit card charges on Ashley Madison. So why post a link to her Facebook page?

legalschnauzer said...

I'm quite familiar with a woman's perspective. I'm married to a woman; a majority of my readers probably are women. Your "I was just making innocent comments" routine does not fly. You compared me to Donald Trump, and that's a pretty serious insult.

You gave your perspective, and I don't think it makes a lick of sense, and I don't think it comes close to representing a broad woman's perspective. As to your question, the ex wife is part of the story, and she has a Facebook page, which says something about who she is. Why do you have a problem with that? It's a public page, so she apparently has no problem with it.

Anonymous said...

What's your address Shuler?

legalschnauzer said...

What's yours?

Anonymous said...
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