Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | 1:56 p.m.
Regardless of whether he quit or was fired, former Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Lee is set to receive $2.8 million in cash severance payments over three years.
Las Vegas-based Pinnacle disclosed the severance terms today.
Pinnacle said Lee will also be entitled to receive accrued salary through his Saturday resignation date, a bonus of $395,000 for 2009 and health benefits coverage and disability insurance coverage for up to 18 months.
Certain of Lee’s outstanding stock options are now fully vested and exercisable and he has one year to exercise them, Pinnacle said.
Pinnacle announced the departure of Lee on Monday, saying he had resigned as CEO and from the board of directors to pursue other business interests.
Today, Pinnacle said it entered into a separation agreement with Lee providing that his resignation will be treated as a ``termination by the company without cause.''
Lee's departure followed news that an investigation was under way into his lobbying of a St. Louis County Council member in Missouri. The lobbying and Lee's comments at a public meeting involved his attempt to block development of a casino that would compete with a Pinnacle casino.
Pinnacle, which is looking for a new CEO, is now being led by former Aladdin Gaming and Harrah's executive Richard J. Goeglein, who was named interim nonexecutive chairman; and former Hilton Gaming executive John V. Giovenco, who was named interim chief executive officer. Both are Pinnacle board members.
Besides Missouri, Pinnacle has operations in Louisiana, Indiana, Nevada and Argentina.