Pace Airlines CEO Arrested, Sued for Discrimination

Pace Airlines, a charter airline that used to be known as Hooters Air, has ceased operations and has laid off all but a handful of employees after a felony charge was filed against its owner and CEO, William Charles Rodgers, for allegedly failing to make payments on the health insurance policies that covered his 340 employees.

Rodgers was booked into the Forsyth County jail on Tuesday, and was released on Wednesday morning after posting $50,000 bail.  The day after Rodgers was sent to jail, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission added to the CEO’s problems by filing a discrimination lawsuit on behalf of Chau Nguyen, an Asian flight attendant at Pace Airlines who was fired in 2006 after complaining that only white workers were being promoted. The EEOC said that Nguyen had made several complaints of discrimination after missing out on promotion to lead flight attendant.

On Friday, Pace Airlines stopped providing chartered flights for clients that have included the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, Bruce Springsteen, and the White House Press Corps.  Pace had been previously owned by the former chairman of Hooters, Robert Brooks, who died in 2006 about three months after Hooters Air went out of business.

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