Friday, March 14, 2008

Who is "Super" Dell Schanze?


So, with the recent news that "Super" Dell Schanze is running for County Mayor, I'm sure there are a few people out there wondering who this guy is.

From Wikipedia:

Dell Buck Schanze (born in Ithaca, NY on September 27th 1969) is an American entrepreneur, who relocated to Utah with his mother at age 12 when his parents divorced. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Schanze "has made a name for himself by pushing the envelope professionally and personally" [1] with highly opinionated radio and television advertising campaigns in Salt Lake City pushing his businesses as well as his personal viewpoints.

Dell Schanze was the founder of Totally Awesome Computers, which at its peak operated nine stores along the Wasatch Front in Utah. His moniker "SUPERDELL" (written as one word in capital letters) and his business became household names in Utah in the late 1990s. He is known for his zany, unrehearsed and often-times controversial commercial advertisements as well as for his multiple news appearances reporting his conflicts involving local residents and police.


And, well, some of his more infamous incidents:

* In November 2003, William "Carl" May, Schanze's former vice president and friend, sued Schanze and Totally Awesome Computers for $1.2 million dollars (estimated to be the total net-worth of the company), claiming to be held back from promotion for religious and ethnic discrimination. The suit was later settled out-of-court for undisclosed terms, but estimated to have been over $500,000 dollars (with an additional $477,000 dollars spent defending the claim).
* May subsequently sued Schanze again (also for $1.2 million dollars) for defamation and breach of the agreements made in the prior settlement. Schanse was also sued by another former employee, (Sherri Young, former TAC company financial auditor/comptroller) for comments Schanze made about them in a Salt Lake City Weekly article. Young's suit was later dismissed. May's second suit was later dropped.
* On May 21, 2005 Schanze was charged with "threatening with or using a dangerous weapon in a fight or quarrel" (a class A misdemeanor), reckless driving (a class B misdemeanor), and "false written statement" (a class B misdemeanor). The charges stemmed from an incident that occurred Schanze was reportedly speeding and driving recklessly through a Draper, Utah neighborhood. This precipitated a confrontation between Schanze and neighborhood residents during which Schanze allegedly brandished a Glock handgun. Neighborhood residents were not charged with any crimes. Schanze was found guilty of making a false written statement about a cell phone call. The reckless driving charge was reduced to a speeding charge (to which Schanze entered a Guilty plea). Schanze was given a fine and probation on August 9, 2006 for the false statement charge and the speeding ticket.
* On May 24, 2006 Schanze was accused of "inappropriate" use of his powered paraglider. He pleaded "no contest" to public nuisance charges for flying his paraglider along I-15 during morning rush hour. The FAA issued Schanze a warning letter regarding the incident.
* On January 4th, 2007, Dell Schanze was banned from editing the Wikipedia for a period of 24 hours for 10 or more Vandalism violations in a 24 hour period, including his statement that "Wikipedia is run by terrorists".
* On September 7, 2007 Schanze flew his powered paraglider across the bow within several feet of a tour boat on the Great Salt Lake. His probation from his prior "inappropriate use" had expired just two weeks prior.


And, who can forget, at the height of his meltdown as Totally Awesome Computers went out of business, when he threatened to kill the reporters in the media:

If I was a really bad guy do you think any of these news reporters would still be alive? Ask yourself that question. You know you all have the ability to repent because of the grace of God, but you are still alive to do it, because of the grace of SUPERDELL

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