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Seattle drops charges against former Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price

caption: Dan Price, as pictured in 2015. Price is the CEO of Gravity Payments, which has offices in Seattle, Boise, and Hawaii.
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Dan Price, as pictured in 2015. Price is the CEO of Gravity Payments, which has offices in Seattle, Boise, and Hawaii.

The Seattle City Attorney has dropped reckless driving and assault charges against former Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price.

The case centered on allegations that he grabbed a woman's throat while in his car last year, after she refused to kiss him. In 2022, the allegations led to charges in Seattle. Seattle opted to drop the case this week because of a lack of evidence. KING5 notes that the charges were dropped without prejudice, which means they could be filed again in the future.

RELATED: Dan Price branded himself as a benevolent CEO. Some former employees challenge that portrayal

Price pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed the allegations were false. The Seattle Times reports that Price's defense presented witness accounts and messages. His attorney argued that police never performed any follow up investigations, such as speaking with Price after the alleged incident.

Price stepped down from his Ballard-based company in 2022, amid the legal challenges, but in a statement via social media, he did not say whether or not he would be returning. Instead, he plans "to take some time to reflect on how I can best engage on the economic justice issues that matter most to me."

Price gained national fame in 2015 when the young CEO slashed his own salary as part of a plan to pay a minimum wage of $70,000 to his employees. That salary has risen to $80,000 since then.

A dual narrative around Price has emerged in the years since he gave the high-profile raise. He has become a regular personality on social media, podcasts, TV shows, and other media, promoting higher wages and better business practices for CEOs. There are also negative reports and allegations about another side to the CEO. Former employees reported that Price berated staff and that there was a culture of fear around the office. KUOW has previously reported that Price's ex-wife has also made allegations of abuse in the past.

It was also reported in 2022 that Price faced allegations of rape in Palm Springs, California. The Riverside County District Attorney's Office continues to evaluate the allegations, and tells KUOW that it may reach a conclusion later this year.

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