Dragon*Con’s management has responded on Facebook to the storm over its continued financial connection to Ed Kramer.
The controversy was energized by Kramer’s extradition from Connecticut to Georgia, where he has been facing child molestation charges since 2000, and a recent article in an Atlanta monthly that raised fans’ awareness that Kramer remains a stockholder in Dragon*Con’s parent corporation and gets dividends from the con’s profits.
Nancy Collins has called for a Dragon*Con boycott and some have answered, notably Kaja and Phil Foglio.
Dragon*Con’s response begins:
There has been a great deal of discussion as of late in the community regarding our continued financial connection to Edward Kramer. Please know that we are as troubled by this circumstance as anyone else, but please also know that there is no simple, legal, solution to this matter…if there were, it would have been resolved long ago.
For the record, Edward Kramer resigned from the Dragon*Con convention in the year 2000. Since that time, he has had no role in the direction or management of the convention; however, he remains a stockholder despite our desires otherwise.
Since Edward Kramer’s arrest in 2000, we have made multiple attempts to sever all ties between Edward Kramer and Dragon*Con including several efforts to buy Edward Kramer’s stock shares. Unfortunately, Edward Kramer’s response to our buyout efforts was repeated litigation against Dragon*Con…thus our buyout efforts have been stalled. The idea proposed of dissolving the company and reincorporating has been thoroughly investigated and is not possible at this point. Legally, we can’t just take away his shares. We are unfortunately limited in our options and responses as we remain in active litigation.
They deny generally the “current flood of ‘information’” sourced in Kramer’s multiple lawsuits against Dragon*Con, claiming “much of this misinformation is being quoted as pure fact despite the reality that a court of law determined that many of the facts and figures provided by Mr. Kramer in his law suits were false, inaccurate or completely fictitious.”
The statement also emphasizes that since 2000, Dragon Con has been managed by three of the original co-founders, Chairman Pat Henry and board members Dave Cody and Robert Dennis. Which is to say – not Ed Kramer.
Regardless whether Dragon*Con management is legally helpless, or just unwilling to do anything that might kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, one fact is clear. People who don’t want to be making a financial contribution to Ed Kramer must find their own solutions. Not giving Dragon*Con any of their money is one.
Collins, the Foglios any many others consider the boycott a necessity to cut off the funds Kramer uses for his legal defense. I make no doubt that Ed uses his Dragon*Con income to pay his lawyers, but let’s not forget that in our system he’s entitled to a defense. If he was broke, the government would have to appoint him a public defender. I won’t characterize it as a problem that he’s defending himself, frustrated as I may be that the charges have lingered unresolved for almost 13 years.
It’s the prosecutors and courts in Georgia I’ve felt should be held accountable for letting Ed scam them into infinite delays, arguing he was unable to assist in his own defense. Quotes from people who saw Kramer out and about prior to his arrest in Connecticut show he considers himself able to work on a film. Why wasn’t anyone in Georgia law enforcement able to bring similar information to light over the years?
[Thanks to James Bacon for the link.]