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Do CEOs Tend to be Out of Touch With Reality?

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Message Roger Shuler

Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer

What does it take to be a CEO? Does it require a form of tunnel vision that is at odds with the real world? We are starting to think the answer is yes.

Consider Ted Rollins, the CEO of Campus Crest Communities and a member of one of America's wealthiest families. Rollins' company completed a $380-million IPO in late 2010, so he has proven adept at attracting investors. But we have seen troubling signs that Rollins holds a peculiar worldview, one where laws and fundamental concepts of right and wrong don't apply to him.

Now we see evidence that Rollins seemingly is able to block out evidence that key members of his team behave in a despicable manner. Is this the kind of "vision" one must possess in order to be a chief executive?

The Ted Rollins story hits home here in Alabama for a couple of reasons. We first became aware of Rollins because of his involvement in a divorce case that is astounding for the unlawful manner in which it was conducted. Sherry Carroll Rollins had filed for divorce from Ted Rollins in Greenville, South Carolina, where the couple and their two daughters lived. When Ted Rollins ignored a court order to pay the mortgage and insurance on the family home, Sherry Rollins and the children were kicked out of the house and forced to flee to Alabama, where they had relatives. Ted Rollins then proceeded to sue for divorce in Alabama, even though jurisdiction already had been established  in another state and, by law, could not be changed. Ted Rollins, it turns out, does business with the prominent Birmingham law firm of Bradley Arant, and a Shelby County Judge named D. Al Crowson issued a divorce order that was stunningly unlawful and favorable to Ted Rollins, granting Sherry Rollins only $1,315 a month ($815 in support for two children and $500 in alimony).

Ted Rollins' family has deep ties to prominent Republican political figures, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Did Rollins use such ties to help apply a monstrous cheat job on his children and ex wife? Sure looks that way from here.

Rollins developed even deeper ties in Alabama with the recent announcement that Campus Crest Communities plans to build a $26.3 million student-housing project at Auburn University. So the people of our state have good reason to ask, "What's this guy all about? What makes him tick?"

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I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and work in higher education. I became interested in justice-related issues after experiencing gross judicial corruption in Alabama state courts. This corruption has a strong political component. The corrupt judges are (more...)
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