DragonCon has officially cut ties with founder Edward Kramer. Kramer, arrested in 2000 for two counts child molestation (with more coming forward in following years), has been a thorn in the side of the show for years.
Kramer, as partial owner and founder, has continued to make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off of the convention. Many fans have taken issue with feeling as though they were helping to fund the man's legal fees over the past thirteen years.
Cutting ties with Kramer proved easier said than done for DragonCon however. Several times they have tried to buy him out (rumored at half a million dollars), and earlier this year we reported on the most recent attempt when they tried to "merge" the company with DragonCon, Inc. in an attempt to force him to take the buy-out. When he refused and fought against the offer, they sued him. Both parties have come to an out-of-court settlement for a "small amount over" what they had originally offered him as a buy-out.
Many fans will undoubtedly still be unhappy with the amount of time it took for DragonCon to decide to buy Kramer out, or the half million+ he's getting for the deal, but I don't see very many options for the company. Initially, I could see them waiting for the case to play out in court, to see the man proven guilty before punishing him (their first attempt to buy him out was back in 2004), but repeated legal maneuverings have continually pushed the trial dates back and new charges have continued to pile on. Whatever the case, I'd rather see Kramer removed from his position, than see the other owners wash their hands of the company and move on, leaving a possible money-maker completely in Kramer's hands for years to come.
If you have a strong stomach and care to find out more about Kramer's charges, head over the article on robot6 for a good rundown.