Pennsylvania CEO fights assault charges and unemployment

The CEO of a Pittsburgh-based national insurance company has been fired for cause by the company's board of directors in the wake of criminal charges. Initially put on unpaid leave, the company board decided to terminate his employment altogether. It is not clear whether or not the former executive will receive a severance package.

Tongues are wagging because the trespassing and assault charges come from the CEO's lover's husband. Not only is he facing criminal charges, but a wife of 19 years, a company in the midst of a sensitive takeover of another health system, and his status as a board member in good standing for several charitable organizations, and sliding revenues. In fact, he was going to be honored at a national gala later this month, but they have retracted his award. His alleged lover may also face economic consequences because she is employed at the same company.

Gossip, innuendo and jokes aside, I can't help but wonder if the fallout from a minor physical altercation would be this dire if the CEO had gotten into drunken brawl at a bar? Perhaps the incident would've only ended with a fine and a citation. Maybe he could have pleaded to a lesser charge or even achieved the dismissal of charges altogether. In fact, the preliminary hearing for his charges was postponed with no new date scheduled. Perhaps he waived his right to a preliminary hearing during this unequaled week. Regardless, the small assault charge on a public criminal record started the snowball that is turning into an avalanche.

Source: Pittsburg Post-Gazett, "Highmark, Melani each weight their futures," Amy McConnell Schaarsmith, April 2, 2012

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