(Includes update at 8:05 p.m. on 5/6/12)
Ted Rollins, CEO of Wall Street darling Campus Crest Communities, was convicted of assault in the 1995 beating of his stepson.
Despite his criminal record, Rollins leads a company that in late 2010 completed a $380-million IPO on Wall Street. Campus Crest Communities has gone on to build, manage, and market student housing to young people at 33 universities around the country. With a preferred stock offering in the works--and it's expected to generate another $55 million--the company appears to be in growth mode.
As a member of one of the nation's wealthiest families--the folks behind Orkin Pest Control and its parent company, Atlanta-based Rollins Inc.--Ted Rollins has access to significant financial clout. Public documents show that Campus Crest's IPO and its latest stock offering were arranged by such investment heavyweights as Raymond James, RBC Capital Markets, Barclay's Capital, and Citigroup. Among the lead investors in Campus Crest are Cohen and Steers Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, and Neuberger Berman.
Major legal players also are at Rollins' disposal. Birmingham-based Bradley Arant and Chicago-based Sidley Austin, the sixth largest law firm in the country and one of the oldest firms in the world, were deeply involved in preparing the stock offerings for Campus Crest Communities.
Did any of the financial and legal big hitters bother to examine Ted Rollins' background before sinking millions of investor dollars into his venture? If they had, they would have found some deeply disturbing stuff.
A judge in Franklin County, North Carolina, found Rollins guilty of simple assault, a violation of Section 14-33(a) of the North Carolina General Statutes. Rollins was sentenced to probation, fined $100, charged $65 for court costs, and $250 in restitution to Franklin Regional Medical Center. (Various court documents related to the case can be viewed at the end of this post.)
We will take a detailed look at Ted Rollins' arrest and conviction for assault in upcoming posts. But for now, it seems clear the criminal-justice system treated Rollins in a stunningly gentle fashion. Perhaps that's because he was head of American Textile Services, one of the largest employers in and around Louisburg, North Carolina, when the beating took place on September 9, 1995.
Our research shows that, under North Carolina law, the beating should have been reported to social-services officials as a case of probable child abuse. Based on the description of an eye witness, Sherry Carroll Rollins, the beating inflicted serious physical injury and should have been treated as a felony.
Sherry Rollins now is divorced from Ted Rollins and lives in Birmingham with the couple's two daughters, Sarah and Emma. Zac Parrish, Ms. Rollins' son from her first marriage, was 16 when he became the target of Ted Rollins' wrath--and it remains unclear what sparked the beating. In fact, Zac Parrish denied to me in a phone conversation that the beating happened.
We do know that a report was made to North Carolina officials in 1993 about a possible dysfunctional and abusive relationship between Ted Rollins and Zac Parrish.
After an investigation produced no substantive steps to protect Zac Parrish, things got even uglier two years later. It appears that Ted Rollins probably would have beaten his stepson to death had Sherry Rollins not climbed on his back, ripping his shirt, and then called 911. Ted Rollins stopped the beating and fled the scene when sirens from an ambulance and sheriff's vehicles could be heard.
Parrish now is 33 and is the managing member of Parrish Building Company in Birmingham. His mother has told us that Ted Rollins and the Rollins family have provided substantial support to Zac Parrish's enterprise. Why is that? Well, that's not clear. But Zac Parrish responded with profanity-filled rage recently when I asked him for an interview about several issues connected to the Rollins v. Rollins divorce case, including the beating in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Sherry Rollins and her daughters were so badly cheated in the divorce that they have been on food stamps--even though Mr. Rollins owns one company that has three private jet craft and his most recent venture has received Wall Street support that is starting to approach half a billion dollars.
We have shown in a series of posts that the Rollins divorce case could not lawfully be moved from South Carolina, where Sherry Rollins filed the initial complaint and it was litigated for three years, to Shelby County, Alabama, where Ted Rollins filed a complaint after his wife and daughters were forced to flee here after being forced out of the family home in Greenville.
The divorce case, it turns out, was not the first time Ted Rollins received outrageously favorable treatment in a court of law. Much the same thing happened in the assault case, where he was convicted but received nothing like the kind of punishment prescribed by law for such a brutal beating.
We soon will be taking a closer look at the assault case and other issues involving Ted Rollins and Zac Parrish. Meanwhile, corporate and legal titans are preparing another stock offering for Campus Crest Communities.
Do the Wall Street types know what kind of man stands as the CEO and public face of Campus Crest Communities? Do they care?
(Update at 8:05 p.m. on 5/6/12)
In paragraph 8 above, we wrote that, based on Sherry Rollins' description of the beating, it should have been treated as a felony assault. That does not appear to be a correct statement under North Carolina law, which we've had an opportunity to study further in the past few days.
Our original reporting would be correct under Alabama law, which is relatively straightforward on assaults. But our research shows that North Carolina assault law is unusually complex and is very different from the law in Alabama. The assault, of course, took place in North Carolina, so that state's law would govern--and it appears that the Rollins assault, if treated properly under the law, still would not have been a felony.
It did, however, appear to classify as the most serious level of misdemeanor assault in North Carolina, rather than the simple assault for which Ted Rollins was convicted. We will address this further in an upcoming post.
Ted Rollins Arrested for Assault Ted Rollins Convicted of Assault