McNairy County Economic Development Chamber CEO Eddie Crittendon’s recent resignation from the position has been pushed closer after the specially-called meeting of the Board on Wednesday, December 16 to determine when he would vacate the position.
Board members decided that Crittendon’s last day will officially be December 31, after a lengthy debate for which Crittendon was not present.
The issue of the date of Crittendon’s resignation arose after he failed to sign on to his new contract for the upcoming year, which had been voted upon at the XXX meeting—less than a week prior to his resignation.
Crittendon’s current contract expires on December 31.
However, in his stated—not officially written—resignation, Crittendon expressed his intent to continue his duties until his resignation on February 28.
This put board members in the difficult position of trying to determine when Crittendon’s resignation was actually legally effective.
According to Chairman of the Board John Bowers, Crittendon was sent the new contract on November 23, and has yet to sign it. The lack of signature renders the contract essentially unaccepted.
On December 1, Crittendon verbally stated his intent to resign, without turning in an official resignation—also according to the board.
The issue is further complicated by the fact that his current contract is not particularly strict on how he must resign.
“His contract talks about how to handle a resignation of the CEO when it is written—it doesn’t say that he can’t…there’s no prohibition on using a verbal resignation,” said Bowers.
“When he provides a written resignation, it’s mainly around how the pay is handled,” he continued, explaining that the contract lays out a plan to pay the CEO until the date of his resignation, but not a plan on how a CEO is to be managed if they verbally resign.
“Well if his contract expires, and the new one hasn’t been signed, isn’t it over?” said board member Jai Templeton. “I mean, what good is a resignation date out beyond an enforceable contract?”
A proposal of extending his contract for two months was debated, to allow for Crittendon to meet his expressed February goal. This was eventually shot down in light of the pending contract not being signed, and the legal tangles a second proposed contract could cause.
Ultimately, it was decided that Crittendon’s contract would be allowed to expire on December 31 as planned, and—considering the new contract was not signed—that date will officially serve as his last day.
A movement for consideration of compensation for Jessica Huff, Director of the Chamber and Tourism, was also passed, as many of Crittendon’s projects will fall to her in the interim.