Dragon*Con Addresses Kramer Connection

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.]

6 thoughts on “Dragon*Con Addresses Kramer Connection

  1. I would like to point out–as I did on DragonCon’s official FaceBook page, only to have my comments removed and myself banned from further posting–that if DragonCon has been doing its best to extricate itself from Kramer, why did they have him listed as a guest at DragonCon 2008?
    http://web.archive.org/web/20080825044316/http://www.dragoncon.org/dc_guests_list.php#K

    Granted, they removed him from the guest list after receiving several angry calls, but who in their right mind thought that would be a good to have him there in the FIRST place? http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/DragonCon/message/32193

    Con-News posits, rather bizarrely, that Kramer’s bio appeared as a fluke–that it was a left over from when Kramer used to run the con. But that doesn’t explain why he’s described in the bio as the FORMER Director of DragonCon. Or a medical professional, for that matter. Nor does it address the fact the guest listing was on DragonCon’s website from August 24th to August 27th, 2008.
    http://con-news.com/?p=9443

    And then there’s the photographic evidence of Kramer being in attendance at the convention, complete with badge, and talking to one of the con’s directors.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/radlein/3865560488/

    There is plenty of blame to go around on how/why Kramer has been allowed to scam his way out of jail and back into freedom. Personally, I suspect that Kramer has, until recently, benefited from protection from someone in Georgia capable of pulling strings on his behalf, much to the frustration of the investigators and prosecutors assigned to his case. And as for DragonCon, they have made it clear that they haven’t done everything they CAN do to remove Kramer, just what it’s WILLING to do. In that case, Kramer’s victims will be able to sue them for everything they can–and more power to them.

  2. Mike: Good piece but it’s clear that the link to the long article about Kramer is not from “an Atlanta weekly,” but from ATLANTA MAGAZINE, which is a monthly city magazine. Martin

  3. I hadn’t seen that photo of Kramer. I’m going through a bunch of Flickr images right now, trying to see if I can find any more. This does seem to go against a lot of what DC folks have been saying.
    Chris

  4. Kramer was not an invited guest in 2008.

    For one thing, that would make zero sense given the legal actions that Kramer had been launching at Dragon*Con. It would also make zero sense given the dictates of his bond restrictions.

    His name appeared two or three days on their website, but it exists nowhere else. I still have all of my 2008 materials, especially given that the large book of guests that Dragon*Con prints and supplies makes a great budget autograph collection, and Ed Kramer’s name is in none of it; absolutely nowhere to be found.

    The most likely two reasons for his name appearing would be a glitch, that listing is almost identical to a 2000 listing, or that someone in a low level position, possibly connected to a trak, placed his name on there. Either way, it was yanked in a heartbeat.

    And there does exist a photo or two showing him on the floor of the con in 2008. You can tell by the badge that’s visible that it is 2008. And the badge he has appears to be nothing more than an average badge that any paying attendee would have.

    Dragon*Con personnel have also commented on this claim.

    Warren Buff – “I worked in the main programming office at D*C in 2008. If Ed had been on programming, it would have been noteworthy enough to have been discussed there. We were a small team, and chatty. […] I don’t know enough of the internal details to know if Ed is banned from attending (or if his house arrest was assumed to handle that), but I can say with confidence he wasn’t on the program.”
    http://con-news.com/?p=9443

    Plus, again, I was there that year and I was also aware of the Kramer situation as early as 2005. Because of that, I was aware of the small buzz and talk by the end of the con that Karmer had rolled in one day. Of course, one tidbit of that buzz and talk that the boycott pushers don’t like to discuss now was that he was reportedly escorted out of the convention.

    Again, Kramer had already been launching legal action against Dragon*Con and Pat Henry, the man who owned controlling interest by then, and court documents indicate that Henry had been trying to push Kramer out completely via a combination of offering to buy him out with a huge payment and withholding some of Kramer’s annual dividends as leverage. How foolish do you have to be to believe that Henry and some of the others, with all of that going on, would happily invite Kramer in with open arms?

    The boycott that Nancy A. Collins is pushing for is foolish for a whole host of reasons. I’ll certainly not be a part of it and neither will any of my friends and family members that I’m aware of.

    See you all at Dragon*Con 2013.

  5. Oh, yeah…

    Something that might actually have been a smart move over the years would have been focusing attention on the Gwinnet County legal system; and that would still be smarter today than the boycott. They let Kramer get away with things while simultaneously pulling amazingly stupid maneuvers. Putting a spotlight on them and letting them know that they need to get their act together rather than spinning our wheels by doing something as pointless as boycotting Dragon*Con might actually make sure that this doesn’t drag out for another decade-plus.

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