The Charlotte Observer is reporting that former United Way of Central Carolinas CEO Gloria Pace King has filed a federal discrimination complaint, blasting what she sees as a racially-charged witchhunt that unfairly cost her job, her reputation and her pension.
The disgraced CEO has been in a six month long battle over her salary and pension plan that she crafted, and the Charlotte United Way board approved.
King filed the complaint on Dec. 22 with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which investigates allegations of workplace discrimination. Her lawyer, Bill Diehl, released copies of the complaint to the media today, along with a statement on her behalf blasting the United Way board's anticipated release of records detailing her executive expense account spending.
The board meets tomorrow, and is expected to discuss an audit of the spending, chairman Carlos Evans has said. The audit is part of the board's response to the ongoing controversy over the $2.1 million pension the board's executive committee approved for King in 2006.
After news media publicized the pension last summer, board members called it too expensive and said they had made a mistake in approving it. They ultimately fired King, saying the controversy had made her leadership untenable.
King, in her complaint to the EEOC, said her firing was racially motivated, and noted that the board replaced her with former Wachovia executive Mac Everett, a white man. She noted that he's being paid $20,000 a month as interim CEO, despite the fact that the 2008 campaign fell $20 million short of what she raised in 2007.
The United Way “discriminated against me on the basis of my race and gender, or a combination thereof, by firing me,” she said in the complaint, “apparently because it was too difficult to defend to the community the decision to pay a black woman so much money.”
Her appeal of the board's decision not to pay her the remainder of her pension called the retirement package comparable with those of her peers and appropriate for someone of her experience and performance.
Read Gloria King's endless rant against her former employer who she calls spineless and stupid. Gloria King's Press Release Please Note This Link is in .pdf format.
Here is a link to The Charlotte Observer's United Way Story Archive
Adding to the fire is is the Uptown paper:
Former United Way CEO Gloria Pace King said she is forming a company to help others develop skills, such as leadership and public speaking, and plans to write a book on managing through adversity.
King said she hopes the company, called The Amethyst Group, will be a way for her to share the experience and knowledge she gained during her time at the United Way, and previously as a registered nurse.
Trouble is — as April Bethea could’ve reported — The Amethyst Group LLC was formed waay back in April 2006. King was still seemingly happily embedded at the top of the United Way. Why was she forming a consulting company out of her Huntersville Taunton Road home address?
And what is the current relationship — if any — between Amethyst and BUSIC Entertainment LLC? The entities share the same registered agent and address on Cougar Lane in Charlotte. BUSIC was formed out of the same Taunton Road address by Leslie C. King in 2002 for “consulting in sports and entertainment,” according to state records. Leslie C. King II is, I assume, Gloria King’s son.
He owns a condo in the same Church Street building in which Gloria King owns two units in addition to the Huntersville home and a University Park townhouse along with Kara King, according to county property records.
In November 2005 Leslie King again used Herrick and Cougar Lane to form BUSIC Sports LLC, a “sports agency,” BUSIC Management LLC, and BUSIC Group LL, according to state records.
The Cougar Lane home in which the registered agent of both the BUSICs and Amethyst resides — at least according to state voting records — is owned by Cheryl L. Blackburn. The agent is Kimberly A. Herrick. Blackburn’s voting address is a few hundred feet from the townhouse address Herrick’s uses as her voting address.