Two recently elected directors of Nashville-based J. Alexander’s Corp. resigned in order to avoid a conflict of interest with the company’s independent auditing firm.
The company — which owns and operates 27 restaurants in 12 states, according to the Nashville Business Journal — stated that Joseph N. Steakley and Brenda B. Rector both have unfunded retirement benefits payable from the company’s current independent auditor, Ernst & Young.
Steakley and Rector were partners with the auditor more than five years ago, before they resigned for positions in private business. Today Steakley is a senior vice president of internal audit at Nashville hospital giant HCA; Rector is vice president, controller, and chief accounting officer of Province Healthcare in Nashville.
Because of the unfunded retirement benefits, their service as board members would have disqualified Ernst & Young from serving as independent auditor, the company added.
“We appreciate the gracious decision by Mr. Steakley and Ms. Rector,” said Lonnie J. Stout II, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, in a statement.