GPB veteran resigns after Chip Rogers hired

by: Lori Geary Updated:

Ashlie Wilson Pendley worked at GPB for 15 years, working her way up to an executive producer position. In her resignation letter, she said she's had enough after hearing Rogers was hired for a similar position making three times more than her.

ATLANTA - Critics are claiming a former lawmaker's connections helped him get a sweetheart state job.

Former Republican state Sen. Chip Rogers is now making $150,000 a year at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Channel 2's Lori Geary obtained a copy of a resignation letter from a GPB veteran who said she's quitting in protest.

Ashlie Wilson Pendley worked at GPB for 15 years, working her way up to an executive producer position. In her resignation letter, she said she's had enough after hearing Rogers was hired for a similar position making three times more than her.

Wednesday was Rogers' second day on the job at GPB and already there's fallout.

After several weeks of open-records requests, Geary found out his salary is $150,000. His appointed position is executive producer of "job creations."

When asked for his job description Geary found out there isn't one.

The senior human resources manager responded saying, "Currently we are working on a job description that details the duties that will be assigned."

"People are outraged over this," said Bryan Long, who heads watchdog group Better Georgia.

Long said Better Georgia obtained Wilson Pendley after her resignation from GPB.

"She's unhappy with the sweetheart deal Chip Rogers got," Long said.

Wilson Pendley's letter read, in part, "I think it is unconscionable to create a position and compensate any individual in this manner during these difficult times. This was the wrong decision for GPB. It has the appearance of the political manipulation of the public airwaves. This stinks of cronyism. I believe this decision was in fact made at the highest political levels and forced upon this organization."

Geary found Pendley's recent salary was not quite $54,000, and nowhere near Rogers' $150,000 salary.

"We have a petition at FireChipRogers.com," Long said.

Long blames Rogers' appointment on Gov. Nathan Deal.

"Tax dollars matter and in this economy they matter a lot. Gov. Deal has a responsibility to manage those dollars wisely instead of giving government handouts to his political friends," Long said.

The governor's office had no response, saying the governor did not hire Rogers.

Geary also reached out to Pendley, who said she won't comment because her official last day is Jan. 31.

A spokeswoman for GPB said they don't comment on personnel matters.

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