CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The CIAA tournament has enjoyed a highly successful run in Charlotte. But there was some drama behind the scenes, and a man hired to be the head of the tournament’s security believes he was the victim of it.
"Six years ago Commissioner Leon Kerry hired me to take over security for the CIAA," said Bobby Rankin.
Last Thursday Rankin’s tenure abruptly came to an end. While he was hired by longtime Commissioner Leon Kerry, he was fired by interim Commissioner Peggy Davis.
"I'm not turning on Commissioner Kerry today, tomorrow, or the next day. He's my friend,” Rankin added.
Officially Rankin was not fired over that friendship. He says that Davis accused him of getting credentials and signage for his security team and was not authorized to do so.
Rankin says the conversation turned heated.
"For some ungodly reason she said that I was not telling the truth, that I had breached my contract," added Rankin.
News Channel 36 obtained a copy of the invoice. It shows the materials were approved in July and paid for in August when Kerry was the commissioner.
NewsChannel 36 talked to Kerry at his home in Virginia and he said he agreed to the expenses.
“That is exactly right. Bobby went to the NCAA, he got some ideas and concepts. We talked about it and I said ‘Let’s print them up,’" said Kerry.
We asked him if Rankin was caught in the middle of a fight between the board and himself, but Kerry declined to answer.
"Bobby did an outstanding job for me and I'll never forget it as long as I live," said Rankin.
NewsChannel 36 tried to contact Davis but she did not return the calls.
Rankin says he may sue the CIAA for breach of contract.