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Better Business Bungle: BBB Southland Chief Resigns Quietly

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Photo by amboo who? via Flickr

Photo by amboo who? via Flickr
According to a Better Business Bureau official, Southland head William Mitchell is leaving the organization because of his health, not because of the "pay-for-play" controversy regarding the group's rating system or murmurs about his $400,000-a-year salary, reports the LA Times.

Mitchell, a 26-year employee of the BBB -- the national organization that issues businesses ratings based on how they treat consumers -- has come under heavy criticism in recent months for handing out higher marks to businesses that joined as dues-paying members.

The controversy peaked last month when, according to the LA TImes, "business owners critical of the BBB obtained high ratings for fake businesses immediately after paying membership dues for them." As well, Mitchell's salary was questioned for being higher than the heads of other BBB chapters, and higher than the group's national president.

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Notifying only top executives on the local level, Mitchell, who had open-heart surgery three months ago, quietly resigned last week but will remain on the job until a successor is chosen. In light of the mounting scrutiny, the BBB stated it would stop giving higher grades based solely on membership, reports the LA Times, and that it would examine its overall ratings system.