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The writing was pretty much on the wall for this one. N.C. Department of Insurance charged William Charges Rodgers with failing to make insurance payments for employee insurance coverage saying he knowingly terminated his group health insurance without providing the required 45-day notice to his 337 employees. William Rodgers is CEO of Winston-Salem’s PACE Airlines which he bought several months back. NCDOI news release (see below) states Rodgers was arrested at PTIA this afternoon although they did not say if he was coming or going from the airport however WRAL in Raleigh reports Rodgers had just arrived at PTIA.�

An informational meeting for Pace employees has been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. More information can be found at the NCDOI’s Web site.

Stuart Carnie was quoted as saying, “The wrong man is in handcuffs. The previous owners of Pace did not pay the premiums, we paid the past three months insurance premiums to Blue Cross-Blue Shield. We just wrote a check last week for $223,000." You may remember the name Stuart Carnie as he is the PACE Executive that had his vehicle broken into and a GPS stolen which Rodgers citied as one of the reasons he was suspending operations, to protect his employees from violence.

PACE Airlines is past due on it’s lease agreements with Smith Reynolds, behind in FAA fees and has as much as $20 million in outstanding bills many of which date back to before Rodgers bought the troubled outfit. Recently they lost their maintenance contract with Continental Airlines with the rumor being Continental was concerned with the financials and the possibility of getting equipment stuck in the mix or plans stranded at Smith Reynolds Airport.


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3 Responses to “PACE Airlines CEO Arrested”
  1. Inthismess says:

    Thanks again for another job well done.
    Yes Rodgers bought into a LOT OF DEBTS…. If he is such a good and prosperous businessman; he did his research and knew it. Dont blame your empoyees for giving media information that runs your investors off..
    The information you gave for the reason Continental pulled their contract is dead on. Other news media made the comment apparently conveyed by Carnie was that they pulled out because they feared “mechanics would retaliate”. The mechanics were flustrated and angry about not being paid for weeks but not at Continental. They knew that these inspections were the only means of keeping Pace afloat and most were proud of their work.

  2. JamesB says:

    Thank you.

    I have actually been onsite at PACE for unrelated work and although I do not know any of the employees directly I have spoke with them and considering the type of work they did and the responsibility they held I cannot believe any of them would willfully create a safety issue. Any comment along those lines by management to me shows no respect for your employees. When you start accusing your employees of threats against manangement, workplace sabotage which could cause major loss of life, don’t make payroll for months plus cut off your employees health coverage without notice I don’t think you can turn around and say the problem is with employees.

    Without knowing the specifics of the type of work or the process for completing it I think anyone can clearly see Continental was in a bad position where an aircraft could become grounded at a location where they have no resources to correct. If you have million dollar planes and park them at an airport where the business that is repairing those aircraft is nearly 1 million behind in their airport lease you have to think twice about sending that plane there for service.

    I suspect several more shoes will drop when it comes to charges being filed and they probably won’t come out of the NCDOI if what I am reading is even partly true.

  3. JamesB says:

    And now here comes another shoe. First off according to AP the charge against Rodgers is a Felony, ouch. It appears Rodgers spent the night in jail as well. Second the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a discrimination suit on behalf of Chau Nguyen who says she was passed over in favor of “white workers”. Not sure the legs on this case considering Rodger bought the company this year and the lawsuit goes back three years to the Hooters Air days and the prior owners.

    As to the Felony charge it would seem to me that NCDOI would have to prove intent and not circumstance was the cause for the missed payment which lead to Blue Cross canceling the insurance policy. Just promising to pay and not having the money to pay isn’t intent. If however deductions were made from paychecks and any money went anywhere other than the insurance company we are talking another ballgame and likely far more charges.

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