I think this is a typical story. But there are many irrational details in this story.
First, was Rick talented? I don’t think so. Maybe he was good at solving some business logic, but not coding. Good programmers write good code. And Rick did not.
Second, the PM, sub-PM, Team Leader(Rick?) and others did not know anything about what Rick was doing? It could not acceptable.
To me, I faced many Rick in the past. And there are dozen ways to awake him from his illusion. First, you can take a bunch of Rick’s code and show him that his code is not good at all. Or you can humiliate him in front of his team mates by showing his poor productivity. Maybe he will become angry. mad at me. But after all, he will recognize his own ability. That’s the point.
I think you should appreciate Rick’s altitude. And your director should fire Rick’s PM too because he does not know how to control Rick at all. Sound like you have a bazooka but you don’t know how to fire and ka-boom, you destroy yourself.