Mark Crumpacker

Mark Crumpacker

Mark Crumpacker, an executive for Chipotle who was seen as its saving grace – the one who would bail the restaurant chain out of its financial falls due to widespread food safety issues – has been arrested and charged with drug possession in connection with a police investigation into a cocaine ring.

Crumpacker turned himself in to authorities and was shortly after released on $4,500 bond, with a court date of Sept. 8, the Washington Post reported.

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The 53-year-old’s charges puts the fate of the restaurant chain in jeopardy. Crumpacker assumed a public relations role that planted him as the face of the company, the one who would turn around the perceptions of the restaurant chain as a risky eating venture, due in part to its E. coli outbreaks and norovirus discoveries that left dozens sick. Several of the chain’s restaurants temporarily closed over the food safety ordeal in order to give employees proper training on food handling and in April, Chipotle announced its first-ever loss as a publicly traded company.

Customers, meanwhile, abandoned in droves. Crumpacker was supposed to get the chain back on financial track.

But now he faces seven counts of possession of a controlled substance, said New York Police Sgt. Lee Jones, to the Associated Press.

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“We don’t have any statement to make,” said Gerald Lefcourt, Crumpacker’s attorney, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Chipotle, meanwhile, said through spokesman Chris Arnold the company was “aware that Mark presented himself to authorities earlier today. He was placed on a leave of absence last week immediately upon learning of these allegations and remains on leave from his job to focus on these personal matters.”


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