Report: Ousted United Way CEO engineered pension

Former United Way CEO Gloria Pace King engineered her new $2.1 million pension two years ago after ignoring a lawyer's concerns that she was already highly paid and any new benefits might violate federal tax rules, a new report says.

Inattentive leaders on the United Way's board of directors failed to stop her, the report says, ultimately approving a plan that has crippled the agency's public standing, undermined its current campaign and cost King her job. News of the controversy has damaged public confidence in United Ways across the country, said the report's principal author, Charlotte attorney Bob Sink.

The board's compensation and executive committees acted “without sufficient information, attentiveness, independence and sensitivity, abetted by a flawed process in which authority and responsibility were ill-defined and broadly delegated,” says the report by Sink's committee.

"The pain, damage and embarrassment of recent events should linger long in the minds of future compensation committees and boards. They should be prepared to defend without apology the decisions they make – those that will be made public and those intended to remain confidential."

Those stinging conclusions headline Sink's long-awaited study, which was commissioned by the United Way of Central Carolinas amid the furor that followed reports of King's deal.

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