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Deborah Dugan. Courtesy Image.

The Recording Academy Quietly Settles With Former CEO Deborah Dugan

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) — The Recording Academy has reached a settlement with its former chief executive Deborah Dugan just weeks before arbitration over her 2020 dismissal was scheduled to begin.

“The Recording Academy and Deborah Dugan have agreed to resolve their differences and to keep the terms of their agreement private,” the Dugan and the academy said in a joint statement released late Thursday.

Dugan, who was hired in August 2019, spent only 5 months at the helm of the academy before she was placed on administrative leave over “concerns raised to the Recording Academy board of trustees” that included a formal allegation of misconduct against Dugan by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.”

The shocking decision to place Dugan on leave came just 10 days before the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, pulling the public’s attention away from music gala, which has struggled with ratings in recent years.

The situation was further complicated when Dugan filed a complaint with California’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in which she alleged her firing was an act of retaliation by the “boys’ club” she claimed wielded power at the academy.

In her complaint, and subsequent television appearances, Dugan also alleged that the voting process for the Grammys was tainted by conflict of interest and claimed that she had been subjected to sexual misconduct by senior figures associated with the academy, including prominent entertainment attorney Joel Katz. Katz has since disputed Dugan’s claims, as has the academy, who categorically rejected her allegations that the Grammy voting process was manipulated.

While the academy would surely like to put the whole affair behind them, the decision to settle with Dugan runs counter to previous statements by then-interim President Harvey Mason Jr. who said the Academy was eager to resolve the matter in the full view of the public.

“The Recording Academy has absolutely nothing to hide and, in fact, welcomes the opportunity to tell its story so that the entire music community and the world can hear the truth – and nothing but the truth—about what you did to this proud institution during your brief tenure as President/CEO. In short, we welcome a full public airing of your allegations against the Academy as well as the Academy’s many claims and defenses against you,” Mason Jr. said in an open letter early last year.

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