Chipotle executive Mark Crumpacker pleaded guilty today to having cocaine in his possession nearly a year ago, but was offered an opportunity to have the case dismissed if he agreed to undergo counseling and submit to drug tests for a year, the New York Daily News reported.
Crumpacker agreed to the deal terms and left the New York City courtroom, released on his own recognizance. He had resumed his work as chief marketing and development officer for Chipotle after about a two-month leave following his July arrest for buying cocaine from a white-collar drug ring in New York City, where Crumpacker resides. Authorities say they caught Crumpacker ordering cocaine via telephone for delivery to his Union Square apartment on 13 instances. Crumpacker did not deny that he had the drug in his possession on a specific day, Jan. 29, 2016.
The plea deal was a rare break for Chipotle, which has dealt with a series of public relations nightmares after an E. coli outbreak sickened several hundred customers and forced the closing of dozens of stores in late 2015. The chain has also been the target of a criminal investigation stemming from an earlier food safety incident, a norovirus outbreak traced to a Boston store, and, most recently, an admittance by CEO Steve Ells that service levels in half the chain are subpar.
Crumpacker’s alleged crime did not involve his employer in any way.
If Crumpacker meets the terms of the deal, he’ll end a high-profile scandal that started with his indictment and surrender to law enforcement authorities last summer. He did not serve jail time.