Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Charges against former Gravity Payments CEO dropped


Seattle prosecutors on Wednesday dropped a misdemeanor charge that former Celebrity CEO Dan Price attempted to strangle a woman, citing problems in proving his case.

Price, 38, gained national attention for raising staff salaries and cutting his own salary while running the credit card processing company Gravity Payments. He resigned from the company last summer after being charged with fourth-degree assault and reckless driving in February 2022.

In a statement emailed by his attorney, Price said he never physically or sexually abused anyone.

“Now that these false allegations are behind me, I plan to take some time to consider how I can best address issues of economic justice,” Price said in a statement emailed by his attorney. I can work.”

The charging documents say a woman called Seattle police on Jan. 24 to report that she had met Price at a restaurant four days earlier. She said the two had communicated on Instagram about work and that she had reached out to him to meet to discuss “professional matters”, according to the charging paper.

Seattle prosecutors said that after a dinner meeting, Price cornered the woman in his Tesla, tried to kiss her, and when she refused, grabbed her by the throat. Prosecutors said Price then took her to a parking lot, tried to kiss her again, and took “doughnuts” with him in the car.

But on Wednesday, he dropped the charges in response to a motion filed by Price’s attorney, Mark Middog. The motion states that in an interview with the defense team, the woman said that when Price put his hand on her neck, he never grabbed her throat or compressed her windpipe or felt any pain.

The woman also said she sometimes interacted with men who would send flirtatious messages on Instagram because they “turned in a big painting” of her artwork, and she hoped to cash in on Price’s connection. , Middoff said in the legal filing.

Middoff said in an email on Tuesday, “It is shocking that the police closed this case without any follow-up investigation, without interviewing any witnesses other than the complainant, or even knowing what happened to Mr. Price.” forwarded to the prosecutor for criminal charges.”

Price made national headlines in 2015 when he said he would raise employees’ salaries to $70,000. At the time, their 120 employees were paid an average salary of $48,000 per year.

Price also cut his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000, cementing his name in the business world as a progressive CEO fighting for higher wages and better conditions for the average worker. .