KTSC accepts settlement offer, Gloria Ray retires

KTSC accepts settlement offer, Gloria Ray retires

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Gloria Ray Gloria Ray

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knoxville Tourism & Sports Corp. accepted a settlement offer Friday for Gloria Ray, who had served as president and CEO.

Ray and her attorney, Chad Hatmaker, attended the meeting. KTSC accepted Ray's offer to retire from KTSC with pay through Friday and all claims from both sides dropped.

The agreement means Ray doesn't have to return $96,000 in a contract dispute.

Ray is entitled to whatever benefits she has in her personal retirement account, but she doesn't get any retirement pay, according to Hatmaker.

Former KTSC board Chair David Duncan formally resigned from the board altogether. He resigned as chair and from the executive committee earlier in February, just ahead of a February 3 meeting when the board agreed to accept Ray's retirement and rejected her current contracts.

Ray released a statement after the meeting Friday saying, "I am happy that KTSC and I were able to reach a resolution that is in both sides best interest. While I know I did nothing wrong and am confident in my legal position I also know that a lengthy legal battle would result in significant cost to both sides, regardless of the final outcome. By reaching this amicable resolution now KTSC can continue to focus on its mission without distraction and I can look forward to my retirement and the next chapter in my life. I am extremely proud of the successes and accomplishments KTSC attained during my tenure and the economic gains our work produced for the city and county."

Bo Connor was appointed Friday as the new chairman of the board.

A search committee will be formed to find a new president and CEO for KTSC.

The city's contract with KTSC expires in June 2012.

The KTSC board voted Friday to renegotiate the Knox County contract without spelling out a hard deadline. County Mayor Burchett said Thursday he wanted the time frame of the city and county contracts to coincide. The Knox County contract with KTSC is due to expire in 2016.

However, board members raised several concerns and approval didn't come until a second vote.

The first vote was split. As the board debated, Crowne Plaza General Manager Ken Knight said, "It feels to me like we're entering a gun fight with a club and as someone whose livelihood depends on what kind of job this organization does, I don't have the same confidence that what comes out of this based on what I hear is going to be acceptable at least to people in my industry."

After the approval interim KTSC President Kim Bumpas said, "I feel like if you're going to move forward and you say you want to be transparent and you want to be an organization people really believe in and expect good results from, then you have to take that leap of faith and really trust that we're going to negotiate and put together a package that's going to benefit us all."

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