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DragonCon issues statement on its connection to Ed Kramer

by  in Comic News Comment

Noting that co-founder Ed Kramer is still “a stockholder despite our desires otherwise,” DragonCon issued a statement on Friday to address the “great deal of discussion” surrounding the accused child molester and his association with the convention.

Much of that discussion has been driven by novelist and comics writer Nancy A. Collins, who late last month asked professionals to boycott DragonCon because of its continued continued connection to Kramer, who was extradited back to Georgia in January on child-molestation charges dating back to 2000. Although Kramer resigned from the board following his original arrest, he continues to receive annual dividends from his one-third stake in the for-profit corporation — $154,000 for 2011 alone, according to Atlanta Magazine — while stalling his criminal case for more than a decade and suing co-founder Pat Henry and DragonCon/ACE Inc.

“No matter what Dragon*Con does or says, funds from the convention will continue to go to Edward Kramer until either he dies or the corporation that runs the convention dissolves and reincorporates under another name,” Collins wrote. “Dragon*Con knows what needs to be done, but has been dragging its feet on this matter, and has gone to great trouble over the last 12 years to hide the fact that they continue to fund Edward Kramer’s lifestyle. […] It is up to the Professionals — we writers, artists, musicians, editors, actors, and film-makers — to make a stand, as we are a large part of what attracts (at last count) 50,000 fans to the convention each Labor Day.”

According to the statement from DragonCon, organizers have made multiple attempts to sever ties with Kramer, including efforts to buy his 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,” the statement reads, noting that they hope the upcoming trials will “provide a resolution of Edward Kramer’s guilt or innocence, and therefore a cause of legally divorcing ourselves from him once and for all.”

You can find the entire statement below.

From the Dragon*Con Facebook page:

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.

The current flood of “information” about this litigation appears to have been taken from the multiple lawsuits against Dragon*Con filed by Edward Kramer and his lawyers (i.e., Edward Kramer’s arguments and allegations, not documented facts). To our dismay, 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.

It is our sincere hope that the end is in sight and that the upcoming trial(s) in Gwinnett County will provide a resolution of Edward Kramer’s guilt or innocence, and therefore a cause of legally divorcing ourselves from him once and for all.

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. In that time the convention attendance has grown from less than 10,000 to over 52,000 fans. Our goal has been and will continue to be, to provide the greatest fan driven science fiction/fantasy convention in the world.

We do hope that everyone understands that due to past, present, and possible future lawsuits we find ourselves unable to comment further on any matters concerning Edward Kramer. Please do not construe any future silence on the matter as a lack of concern on the part of the Dragon*Con staff and more specifically, our board of directors.

We will continue to strive to provide the best possible experience for our attendees, volunteers, partners and invited guests alike.

We are, and will remain, for the fans, by the fans.