A Seattle CEO who rose to prominence by elevating workers’ salaries whereas slashing his personal is going through misdemeanor assault fees stemming from allegations that he tried to drive undesirable kisses on a lady, courtroom information present.
Dan Price, 37, CEO of credit-card processor Gravity Payments, was charged in February with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, fourth-degree assault and reckless driving. Price has not but been arraigned on the costs, which had been filed in Seattle Municipal Court by town lawyer’s workplace.
A 26-year-old lady referred to as Seattle police on Jan. 24 and reported that she had met Price at a restaurant on Capitol Hill 4 days earlier. The two had beforehand communicated on Instagram about work, charging papers say. The lady described Price as a public determine and stated she had reached out to him in December about assembly in particular person to debate “professional matters,” say charging papers.
Instead, Seattle prosecutors say that Price cornered the lady in his Tesla sedan after a dinner assembly, tried to kiss her after which grabbed her throat when she refused. Relying on the lady’s account, metropolis attorneys contend Price then drove her to a North Seattle parking zone, the place he proceeded to drive “doughnuts” together with her within the automobile.
Price’s protection lawyer, Mark Middaugh, stated in an e-mail Wednesday that the allegations in opposition to his shopper are “absolutely false.”
“We have already obtained evidence that contradicts key details of the police report and raises serious doubts about the complainant’s credibility. Mr. Price respects the legal process and is confident that he will be vindicated in court,” Middaugh wrote.
The fees don’t state the lady’s occupation however observe that she is in a relationship and wasn’t romantically all for Price.
Price shot into the nationwide highlight in 2015 when he introduced he would elevate Gravity Payments worker salaries to $70,000. At that point, his 120 workers had been paid a median wage of $48,000 a yr. Price pledged to lift pay over the following three years throughout all sides of the enterprise, together with the lowest-paid clerks, customer support representatives and salespeople.
Price minimize his personal wage from almost $1 million to $70,000, cementing a reputation for himself within the enterprise world as a progressive CEO preventing for larger wages and higher circumstances for the common employee. In a Facebook reside video, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich referred to as Price “the one moral CEO in America,” in a monologue that capitalism itself could also be immoral.
“I felt guilty in the old situation,” Price stated within the 2020 interview. “I’m happier now. Maybe my ego took a hit, maybe my chances of getting on the Forbes list went from little to zero but it was worth it because I’m happier, I’m healthier, and the people around are [as well].”
Assault fees filed
The lady informed police that Price bought drunk on the Jan. 20 dinner and later invited her to attend in his Tesla for her Uber to reach as a result of it was chilly exterior, based on charging papers. The lady agreed and stated as quickly as she bought within the automobile, Price tried to kiss her, the costs say. When she pushed him away, he grabbed her throat however didn’t impede her airway.
“She said at that point, his demeanor changed and he became incredibly angry,” and he drove away with the lady as a result of it was taking too lengthy for the Uber to reach, based on charging paperwork.
The lady reported being scared as a result of Price was driving whereas intoxicated. She contacted her boyfriend, who stated he would decide her up on the Northgate park-and-ride, say the costs.
Once the lady and Price arrived on the park-and-ride, Price started doing doughnuts within the higher parking zone, then tried to kiss the lady once more, based on the costs. She pushed him away and he grabbed her throat a second time, pulsing his hand on the perimeters of her neck, the costs say. The lady stated she may nonetheless breathe however was terrified Price “would do something further,” say charging papers.
The lady stated Price then lay down within the again seat and her boyfriend picked her up, based on the costs. She informed each her boyfriend and father concerning the incident, and informed police she didn’t have any bruising on her neck.
The subsequent day, Price despatched the lady a textual content message thanking her for assembly him the evening earlier than, however the lady didn’t reply, charging papers say.
Charging paperwork don’t point out whether or not police collected the textual content message described by the lady, or in the event that they spoke with different witnesses or Price.
“Our attorneys are reviewing all of the evidence and determining the path forward,” stated Anthony Derrick, a spokesman for town lawyer’s workplace. He stated his workplace doesn’t touch upon the small print of ongoing litigation.
Price began Gravity Payments in 2004 at age 19, utilizing seed cash from his older brother Lucas to construct out the startup in his dorm room at Seattle Pacific University. He stated he bought the concept for Gravity Payments whereas enjoying in a rock band at a espresso store.
Gravity Payments markets itself as a bank card processing firm for “the little gal or guy who believes in the American dream and is willing to work to chase it,” based on its web site.
Around the time of the 2015 wage bump announcement, Price bumped into authorized hassle. Price’s brother Lucas sued him for allegedly overpaying himself later that yr. A King County choose dominated in 2016 that Dan had not violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder.
Allegations that Price abused his ex-wife Kristie Colon additionally surfaced that yr. A Bloomberg report recounted an October 2015 TEDx discuss given by Colon throughout which she described being overwhelmed and waterboarded by her ex, with out naming Price. Price informed Bloomberg these occasions “never happened.”
Price now takes to Twitter and Instagram, generally a number of occasions a day, to induce different CEOs to lift wages, make it simpler for employees to take paid day without work, supply extra beneficiant well being care and, in some circumstances, eliminate conferences as a manner to enhance employee productiveness and satisfaction.
Price is scheduled to look in Seattle Municipal Court on Friday, courtroom information present.