February 28, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 12:53 pm

Vaccaro taking leave from TicketNetwork

Don Vaccaro, the chief executive officer of South Windsor sports and concert ticket exchange TicketNetwork, is taking an indefinite leave of absence from the company, two days after he was charged with a hate crime, jeopardizing the company's $8 million investment from the state.

Vaccaro announced his leave of absence on Tuesday afternoon, following Gov. Dannel Malloy's statements earlier in the day that the state and the company needed to re-examine their relationship.

In July, TicketNetwork, which serves as an exchange for ticket buyers and sellers, was designated to receive $8 million from the state's "First Five," program, in exchange for adding 200 jobs in Connecticut over the next two years. The state's incentive package includes a $4.5 million loan at 2 percent interest with $1 million forgivable, a $1.8 million loan at 3.5 percent and a $250,000 training grant for software engineering.

"While I need to work through the legal process first, I hope to publicly discuss this issue more openly in the future," Vaccaro said in a released statement. "I am seeking personal counseling and treatment for alcohol abuse."

Vaccaro, 49 of Glastonbury, was attending an Academy Awards party in Hartford on Sunday night, where police say an apparently drunken Vaccaro allegedly groped a woman and yelled racial slurs at a bouncer trying to escort him from the party.

Vaccaro has been charged with second-degree hate crime, second-degree threatening, breach of peace, first-degree criminal trespass and interfering with police, Hartford police said. Vaccaro posted a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court March 7.

In a Tuesday morning press conference Malloy says his administration is examining the state's relationship with TicketNetwork Inc.

The "First Five" deal has not been finalized as both sides are reviewing the terms. The re-examination of the relation that Malloy proposed on Tuesday adds a new dimension to whether TicketNetwork receives those funds.

Vaccaro said in his released statement Tuesday afternoon that TicketNetwork's long-time senior management team will take over running the company without him.

"TicketNetwork is a great company with wonderful employees and I do not want my personal actions to impact the company's growth," Vaccaro said.

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