Jay Gould, a CEO who chaired Buckhead’s “HUB404 Atlanta GA” park board before his sudden firing from his company last month, is suing for wrongful termination, according to a public relations spokesperson.
Gould was president and CEO of the Midtown-based flooring company Interface. The company announced in a press release last month that he was fired for “personal behavior that violated company policy and core values.”
Holly Brochmann of the public relations firm Hope Beckham said in a Feb. 14 email that Gould filed a federal lawsuit against Interface that day related to his termination, with representation from attorney David Long-Daniels. Gould and Long-Daniels did not immediately respond to requests for confirmation and more details.
Brochmann quoted Long-Daniels as saying Gould’s firing was “retaliatory” for an effort to fight a “troubled culture of nepotism and misogyny.”
“The reported reasons for Mr. Gould’s termination were false and defamatory,” the statement quoted Long-Daniels as saying. “The case we filed today in federal court shows that the given reasons for his termination were pretextual and were in fact retaliatory for Mr. Gould’s efforts to straighten out the Company’s troubled culture of nepotism and misogyny. The truth will come to light, and today is the first step towards the light.”
HUB404 is a proposed park that would cap Ga. 400 in central Buckhead. Gould’s firing came right as the green space’s fundraising effort was gearing up.
Jim Durrett, executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, has been a prominent backer of HUB404 and serves as its Conservancy Board treasurer. Durrett said that Gould voluntarily left the board chair position. Court Thomas of Atlanta Property Group is now serving as interim chair.
“Jay is still committed to the project, but decided to step down from the chair post to allow the Conservancy to focus on the task at hand, which is fundraising,” said Durrett in an email.