Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s top marketing official was arraigned Tuesday on seven misdemeanor counts related to the purchase of cocaine and other controlled substances between January and May, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Mark Crumpacker, Chipotle’s chief creative and development officer, was placed on administrative leave from the company last week. Chipotle officials said his duties would be picked up by other senior managers in his absence.
According to Bloomberg news, Crumpacker surrendered to authorities and was escorted into court in handcuffs. He did not enter a plea, and his attorney did not respond to questions at press time.
Crumpacker was among 18 people who face charges related to a cocaine ring bust involving three drug traffickers who allegedly sold cocaine in bars and clubs across Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Crumpacker was a customer.
Bloomberg noted that Crumpacker’s drug purchases coincided with some of the worse days of Chipotle’s struggles with the aftermath of a series of foodborne illness outbreaks last year.
Crumpacker has led the Denver-based chain’s effort to bring back traffic scared off by the crisis, including a marketing plan that includes freebie and buy-one-get-one offers, a summer loyalty program, the rollout of chorizo as a new protein, and short films and videos, including this series recently posted on YouTube.