Former United Way President Gloria Pace King, fighting accusations of embezzlement, says she had legitimate business reasons for charging hotel stays, Carolina Panthers football tickets, a $5,000 book about her career and high-end restaurant meals to the agency.
The United Way, locked in a bitter court battle with its former leader, accused King of billing the agency for tens of thousands of dollars of personal expenses. In court papers filed late Friday, King offered her first full legal defense.
She contends she is still owed more than $300,000 on her employment contract and a $2 million supplemental pension.
News of the pension sparked public outcry last summer, and the United Way's leaders asked her to give it up, according to court papers. When she refused, they fired her in September, saying the controversy over her pay made her leadership untenable.
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