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Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Has Officially Been Fired After Two Intensive Investigations

Gettyimages | Bryan Bedder
By Zachary Holt

Last month, it was reported that Deborah Dugan, the newly appointed and first female CEO of the Recording Academy, had been placed on leave, citing workplace misconduct and management issues. The organization that is responsible for the Grammys stated that Dugan had been harassing the personal assistant of the former CEO, among a list of other terminable offenses.

Dugan argued, however, that she was being punished for acting a whistleblower for sending out a memo that condemned the sketchy practices within the organization concerning voter fraud and integrity issues, financial mismanagement, and conflicts of interest.

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Dugan Fired by Recording Academy Citing 'Consistent Management Deficiencies and Failures'

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Following the announcement that Dugan would be placed on leave, the Recording Academy stated that they would be conducting investigations into the matter to determine if Dugan, in fact, engaged on workplace misconduct and displayed management deficiencies.

Well, fast forward to this week where the Recording Academy has officially fired Dugan following the conclusion of their investigations claiming that they were able to determine the former CEO showed 'consistent management deficiencies and failures'. The statement released by the Recording Academy also stated these findings came from 'two exhaustive, costly independent investigations'.

Recording Academy Releases Statement on Investigation Findings

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Tammy Hurt, vice-chair of the academy's National Board of Trustees, released a statement on the firing sharing, "The investigation overwhelmingly confirmed the serious complaints that had been lodged against her by a multitude of academy staff members. The damage she has caused this organization is truly heartbreaking."

Dugan was asked to respond to the statement and her subsequent firing to Fox News, where she expressed the frustration with the organization framing her dismissal as something that was work-related, as opposed to, the real reason to her, being a whistleblower and calling out the 'old boys club' for their sketchy practices.

Dugan Criticizes Recording Academy For Punishing a Whistleblower

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"I was recruited and hired by the Recording Academy to make positive change; unfortunately, I was not able to do that as its CEO. While I am disappointed by this latest development, I am not surprised given the Academy’s pattern of dealing with whistleblowers," Dugan's statement read.

"Is anyone surprised that its purported investigations did not include interviewing me or addressing the greater claims of conflicts of interest and voting irregularities? So, instead of trying to reform the corrupt institution from within, I will continue to work to hold accountable those who continue to self-deal, taint the Grammy voting process and discriminate against women and people of color. Artists deserve better. To me, this is the real meaning of 'stepping up'."

Dugan's Attorney Shares They Will Potentially Take Legal Action Against Recording Academy

Gettyimages | John Lamparski

Dugan's attorney also released a statement, sharing that the decision to fire her was 'despicable'. "The Academy’s decision to terminate Ms. Dugan and immediately leak that information to the press further demonstrates that it will stop at nothing to protect and maintain a culture of misogyny, discrimination, sexual harassment, corruption and conflicts of interest," the statement said.

"The decision is despicable and, in due course, the Academy, it’s leadership and its attorneys will be held accountable under the law." It's currently unknown what legal actions have been filed by Dugan against the Recording Academy or if her representation plans to take any.

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