Chair of Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. resigns

Chair of Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. resigns

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) - David Duncan resigned as chair of the board of the Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. The announcement comes the same day as KTSC released documents on the compensation of the organization's president and CEO Gloria Ray.

Ray told 6 News on January 26 she wasn't offended by the questions being raised about her $405,000 pay package.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero has said the pay appears excessive. Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett expressed the same concern. "It's just too much money," he said.

"I have been very concerned over the past few weeks about how we can be responsive to the concerns that have been raised and to restore the reputation of KTSC as an organization and confidence in its leadership," Duncan said in his letter of resignation. "I believe that KTSC would be better served by different leadership of the board."

"It is my hope that the board will take a serious look at the compensation package of the CEO, the organizational by-laws and the structure of the board," Duncan added.

Mayor Rogero released a statement Wednesday night, saying, "Events are unfolding quickly. We are monitoring them closely and we look forward to having further discussions with KTSC as we learn more."

Susan Brown, vice chair of the board, is now the interim chair, in accordance with the organization's by-laws.

"As chairman of the board, I know David is under a lot of pressure. I understand that. It's part of the job. He's my friend. I don't have anything bad to say about him," said Mayor Burchett. "There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the salaries and I hope the city and county can come together and resolve this. I hope that Susan acts responsibly as interim."

"The KTSC has received dozens of requests for information and documents regarding this issue over the past few weeks and we have been trying to respond to those requests with sensitivity to both the legalities and certain privacy issues," Brown said.

Legal counsel advised KTSC that all the documents are public records. The organization chose to release everything at one time to anyone who has made a request.

The documents were delivered to 6 News and other stations Wednesday night, showing Ray received a more than $30,000 increase in five years in her base pay, not including her bonuses.

Brown said the KTSC Board of Directors will meet on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the KTSC offices to discuss this.

"KTSC is committed to getting this very distracting issue behind us in order to clear the air and move forward to do our job of recruiting visitors and meetings to our community," Brown said. "We also look forward to meeting with our partners at the City of Knoxville and Knox County to answer any questions they have and tell them our plans to keep our community in the forefront of meeting planners and decision makers across the nation."

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