A Seattle CEO who rose to prominence by boosting employees’ salaries even though slashing his individual is going through misdemeanor assault prices stemming from allegations that he attempted to pressure unwelcome kisses on a lady, courtroom records present.
Dan Value, 37, CEO of credit score-card processor Gravity Payments, was charged in February with fourth-diploma assault with sexual drive, fourth-diploma assault and reckless driving. Cost has not still been arraigned on the prices, which have been submitted in Seattle Municipal Court docket by the city attorney’s office.
A 26-12 months-aged female named Seattle law enforcement on Jan. 24 and claimed that she experienced met Value at a cafe on Capitol Hill four times earlier. The two experienced earlier communicated on Instagram about perform, charging papers say. The woman explained Price as a public determine and claimed she had attained out to him in December about meeting in particular person to go over “professional matters,” say charging papers.
As a substitute, Seattle prosecutors say that Rate cornered the girl in his Tesla sedan following a supper meeting, attempted to kiss her and then grabbed her throat when she refused. Relying on the woman’s account, metropolis attorneys contend Cost then drove her to a North Seattle parking whole lot, exactly where he proceeded to drive “doughnuts” with her in the auto.
Price’s defense legal professional, Mark Middaugh, explained in an e-mail Wednesday that the allegations in opposition to his shopper are “absolutely false.”
“We have now obtained evidence that contradicts key facts of the police report and raises major uncertainties about the complainant’s trustworthiness. Mr. Rate respects the legal course of action and is self-confident that he will be vindicated in court docket,” Middaugh wrote.
The rates never state the woman’s profession but observe that she is in a partnership and was not romantically interested in Cost.
Selling price shot into the countrywide highlight in 2015 when he announced he would elevate Gravity Payments worker salaries to $70,000. At that time, his 120 workers had been compensated an average income of $48,000 a calendar year. Cost pledged to raise pay back about the up coming 3 a long time throughout all sides of the business, which include the least expensive-paid clerks, shopper services associates and salespeople.
Rate slice his possess wage from approximately $1 million to $70,000, cementing a name for himself in the business environment as a progressive CEO battling for increased wages and better conditions for the normal worker. In a Facebook stay online video, previous U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich termed Cost “the just one ethical CEO in The usa,” in a monologue that capitalism alone may well be immoral.
“I felt responsible in the outdated condition,” Cost claimed in the 2020 interview. “I’m happier now. Possibly my moi took a hit, probably my prospects of having on the Forbes checklist went from small to zero but it was worth it for the reason that I’m happier, I’m more healthy, and the individuals around are [as well].”
Assault charges submitted
The female instructed police that Selling price got drunk at the Jan. 20 supper and later invited her to wait in his Tesla for her Uber to arrive for the reason that it was cold outside the house, according to charging papers. The girl agreed and said as before long as she got in the vehicle, Rate attempted to kiss her, the fees say. When she pushed him absent, he grabbed her throat but did not obstruct her airway.
“She explained at that issue, his demeanor transformed and he grew to become exceptionally offended,” and he drove absent with the girl because it was taking far too lengthy for the Uber to arrive, according to charging files.
The girl documented remaining fearful since Value was driving whilst intoxicated. She contacted her boyfriend, who stated he would pick her up at the Northgate park-and-trip, say the costs.
The moment the girl and Rate arrived at the park-and-journey, Price started accomplishing doughnuts in the upper parking large amount, then tried to kiss the lady once again, in accordance to the costs. She pushed him absent and he grabbed her throat a 2nd time, pulsing his hand on the sides of her neck, the expenses say. The girl reported she could even now breathe but was terrified Price tag “would do something further,” say charging papers.
The female reported Rate then lay down in the back again seat and her boyfriend picked her up, in accordance to the charges. She explained to both equally her boyfriend and father about the incident, and told law enforcement she did not have any bruising on her neck.
The upcoming working day, Rate despatched the girl a text message thanking her for conference him the night time before, but the girl did not reply, charging papers say.
Charging documents don’t show irrespective of whether police gathered the text concept described by the female, or if they spoke with other witnesses or Cost.
“Our lawyers are reviewing all of the evidence and identifying the route forward,” said Anthony Derrick, a spokesman for the town attorney’s place of work. He mentioned his business office does not remark on the aspects of ongoing litigation.
Price began Gravity Payments in 2004 at age 19, working with seed funds from his more mature brother Lucas to build out the startup in his dorm place at Seattle Pacific College. He mentioned he received the thought for Gravity Payments when actively playing in a rock band at a espresso store.
Gravity Payments marketplaces alone as a credit card processing organization for “the tiny gal or dude who believes in the American dream and is eager to do the job to chase it,” in accordance to its website.
Close to the time of the 2015 wage bump announcement, Price ran into legal hassle. Price’s brother Lucas sued him for allegedly overpaying himself later that 12 months. A King County choose dominated in 2016 that Dan had not violated Lucas’ legal rights as a minority shareholder.
Allegations that Cost abused his ex-wife Kristie Colon also surfaced that calendar year. A Bloomberg report recounted an Oct 2015 TEDx discuss supplied by Colon throughout which she described being crushed and waterboarded by her ex, without the need of naming Rate. Selling price told Bloomberg all those gatherings “never occurred.”
Price now will take to Twitter and Instagram, sometimes several situations a day, to urge other CEOs to increase wages, make it a lot easier for employees to choose compensated time off, supply much more generous health treatment and, in some instances, get rid of conferences as a way to boost worker efficiency and gratification.
Cost is scheduled to appear in Seattle Municipal Courtroom on Friday, court docket data present.